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The Independent Critic

Bob Clendenin, Eddie Steeples, Kirsten Gronfield, John Lehr, Joseph D. Reitman
James Sunshine
Tasha Hardy

 Movie Review: Curiosity 
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Bob Cooke (Bob Clendenin) is the kind of guy you can't help but like, a borderline sadsack with an anxiety-tinged glow and a puppy dog aura who seemingly longs for human connection but mostly lives an invisible life with the exception of his best friend Dustin (Eddie Steeples) and the unattainable woman across the street, Holly (Kirsten Gronfield). 

Bob is a small town mailman, a bit of a snoop whose job sort of allows for it. He's infatuated with Holly, though he's more than a little concerned about the odd assortment of characters who come and go from her house at all hours. When he witnesses the girl of his dream being kidnapped, Bob goes into hyper-stealth mode with the help of Dustin to save her. 

At just over 14 minutes, Curiosity absolutely kills it with this quirky dramedy that is both a complete short and a TV proof of concept. The film had its world premiere at the Oscar-qualifying LA Shorts International Film Festival and has subsequently picked up prizes at Austin Comedy Film Festival (Best Director), Houston Comedy Film Festival (Best Dark Short Film), FirstGlance Los Angeles (Best Comedy), and was a Remi Winner at Worldfest-Houston. Curiosity has screened at 20+ film fests thus far along its festival journey. 

A film like Curiosity could easily go wrong. Tasha Hardy's script is dark yet sensitive and funny. It's easy to imagine this entering the world of episodic television. Clendenin's Bob is relatable from a distance, a wannabe do-gooder whether those around him want, or need, his good or not. Clendenin nails here it, infusing Bob with this wonderful tapestry of absurdity meets vulnerability that draws you to him and makes you want to follow his journey. 

The same is largely true for his bestie Dustin, played by Steeples (My Name is Earl) with a glorious bewilderment. He's both markedly different from Bob and yet perfectly matched with him. Steeples was names one of the World's Sexist Men in 2004 by People Magazine, a fact that if you know it in advance somehow makes his character even richer. 

Everyone else here is wonderful including John Lehr as Mr. Avery, Kirsten Gronfield as Holly, and Joseph D. Reitman as Peter. 

Curiosity is a low-budget indie that just plain works, James Sunshine's taps into Hardy's tone and absolutely creates a compelling, engaging short film. Lensing by Massimiliano Travis is inventive and nicely captures the film's tonal shifts. 

Curiosity is an absolute gem of an indie short, bold and meaningful storytelling complemented by characters who draw you in and hold onto you long after the closing credits have rolled by. You'll laugh. You'll think. You'll probably even feel something. Curiosity is a winner. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic