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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Dina Smirnoff, Jeffry Mora, Gus Ferrari, Tiffany James, Tony Mayes, Caroline Cummings, Susan O'Doherty, Roland Ramos, Emily de Villa, Alex Adisorn
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Mannyx Guillen
MPAA RATING
NR
RUNNING TIME
81 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Shami Media Group
OFFICIAL WEBSITE

 "The Wonderpill" Arrives on Amazon VOD 

Athena Cockburn (Dina Smirnoff) is a young woman who suffers from migraines in writer/director Mannyx Guillen's indie comedy The Wonderpill, a film that takes this rather common circumstance and imagines what would happen if an alleged "wonderpill" arrived on the scene that offered to miraculously cure the migraines with some rather dramatic, and one might say satisfying, side effects. The concept is certainly intriguing to her boyfriend, Jacob (Jeffry Mora), your ordinary and everyday horndog who has gotten incredibly tired of Athena's constant rejection. 

What happens when the "wonderpill," actually a placebo, begins to have the desired effect? That's where the comedy enters the picture for Guillen's nearly 90-minute film that picked up the Touche' Award at the Columbia Gorge International Film festival and snagged 2nd place for Best Feature Film - Romantic Comedy at the Indie Gathering. 

The Wonderpill is the kind of romantic comedy that one expects to find on the microcinema and indie fest circuit, an entertaining and funny film with the occasional low-budget hindrances, most notably here an inconsistent sound mix, but enough charm and humor to largely compensate for its fairly modest technical challenges. 

Smirnoff is a definite winner here, at times radiating both the sensuality and "no nonsense" presence of someone along the lines of Minnie Driver, though Smirnoff definitely gives Cockburn a voice all her own. 

While the initial concept behind The Wonderpill brought to mind the recent controversy around the big reveal in Passengers, The Wonderpill is notably less controversial as Guillen balances everything out and makes it all work quite nicely. 

The film's ensemble cast seems to be having a lot of fun here, though there were times when The Wonderpill might have benefited from a slightly faster pace. That's a minor complaint given Guillen's witty and fun script. While the idea itself is rather fundamental, Guillen has fun with it and makes sure we have fun with it as well. 

Picked up by Shami Media Group for an indie distribution, The Wonderpill was just released and is available via Amazon Video, an increasingly popular and convenient way to check out some of the up-and-coming indie filmmakers. For more information on the film, check out The Wonderpill website linked to in the credits and give the film a watch. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic

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