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The Independent Critic

 2012 Heartland Film Festival: A-Z Reviews, Vol. 11 
Friend Request Pending (12 Mins., Narrative Short)
Friend Request Pending (12 Mins., Narrative Short)

Starring: Judi Dench, Tom Hiddleston, Penny Ryder, Philip Jackson; Directed by: Chris Foggin; Written by: Chris Croucher; OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Is it unfair to punish a film because it has a terrific cast but somehow manages to only be mediocre?

If so, then so be it.

It's hard not to admire A and B-list actors and actresses when they remember their roots and show up in short films, student films and other experimental and obviously low-budget projects. Judi Dench's toilet paper budget is probably higher on most of her films than the entire budget for Friend Request Pending, a 12-minute narrative short that weaves together the senior dating scene with a decidedly modern world.

In other words, we get old geezers playing all cutesie around that their new-fangled interweb thingy.

Okay. Okay. I'm exaggerating. It is, however, pretty difficult to accept the premise of Dench as a newcomer to technology given some of the roles she's tackled as of late. However, even more difficult is that this story line has been making its way around the world of short films for the last year or so now and this film, despite its star power, is likely the weakest entry.

Once in a while, you watch a film and think to yourself "If that film didn't have a celebrity, nobody would ever see it."

This would be that film.

    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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