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The Independent Critic

Megan Hensley, Daniel R. Murphy, Mora Crew, Jay Preston
Cameron A. Mitchell

 "Breakfast in Bed" Continues Indie Festival Run  
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Megan Hensley (The Crazies) and Daniel R. Murphy co-star in writer/director Cameron A. Mitchell's nearly 13-minute short film Breakfast in Bed, the story of a "nice guy" who has spent most of his life in the friend zone with childhood friend Natalie. When he finally gets up the nerve to confess his feelings, he finds her with another man and makes a choice that both may live, or not, to regret. 

While stories of obsession are a dime a dozen, especially in the indie world, Cameron A. Mitchell's effort here is structured in such a way that it helps the material rise above the usual predictability. Breakfast in Bed is somewhat episodic in nature, though it begins in the present and it's apparent that Daniel R. Murphy's "nice guy" isn't really all that nice after all. 

Mitchell wisely utilizes minimal staging with much of the film taking place in a single setting and the film's dramatic back-and-forth dialogue giving the film an aura of live authenticity as these longtime friends realize that everything that has unfolded has irreparably damaged, and likely destroyed, this friendship that, as we all look back, had always been deceptively based on trust and more than a little uneasy. 

There's no question that Breakfast in Bed was put together on a low budget, though in some ways that adds to the film's authentic vibes and gives the conflict an effective naturalism. Hensley, in particular, benefits from that naturalism as she has an intensity within her entire physical presence that weaves together both strength and vulnerability. Murphy proves to be solid as her former friend turned adversary, a guy whose confused psyche' blames the victim for his own misunderstandings while giving us glimpses of something lying deeper underneath that denial. 

Dante Skartoni's lensing is stark, intimate and effective as Mitchell wisely, and somewhat surprisingly, avoids glorifying the violence in favor of exploring the everyday moments and conversations that brought these two to this perilous moment. Rookie Morgan's original music also serves as an effective complement to the film. 

Breakfast in Bed has started its festival run and has picked up a handful of screenings already within its first two months and was a semi-finalist at Los Angeles Cinefest. It's a solidly acted, impactful drama that should have no problem continuing to find a home on the indie fest circuit. For more information on the film, visit its Facebook page linked to in the credits. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic