For pure life affirming awesomeness, there may not be a more entertaining short film this year than writer/director Shawn Ryan's ultra-fabulous Randy, an 11-minute dose of life-changing fabulousity and wonder starring newcomer Paul DeVincenzo as Randy, a young gay man fighting the odds to win the job of his dreams.
The film, which appears to have been a stylish labor of love, features such familiar folks such as Missi Pyle (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), John Ainsworth (Glee), and Amir Malaklou (Argo), though the film circles around DeVincenzo's Randy and everybody knows it. Randy has been picking up well deserved awards left and right and is gtting set for its Seattle premiere at the Seattle Shorts Film Festival from November 11-14.
Thus far, Randy's awards have included Best Short Film at Palm Beach International Film Festival, Audience Award for Best International Short at Shropshire Rainbow Film Fest, Best Short Film at Gulf Coast Film & Video Festival, and official selections at Newport Beach Film Festival and at the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival. In fact, the only thing I find surprising, and maybe a tad disappointing, is that the film's not playing here in my hometown of Indianapolis this weekend as Indy LGBT Film Fest takes off.
Ah well, I guess life isn't perfect. It's still pretty fabulous.
The cast in Randy is pitch perfect, most notably the vibrant and spirited DeVincenzo as Randy, a young man who just wants to be free to be the creative, and gay, spirit that he's meant to be. In a mere 11 minutes, we learn a lot about Randy, more than he really tells us, and that's part of the inspiration and brilliance of the film.
While DeVincenzo carries the film, he's surrounded by a delightful ensemble including the always awesome Missi Pyle, the endearing John Ainsworth and the somewhat befuddled but awesomely real Amir Malaklou. Writer/director Shawn Ryan, whom you may recognize from Bones or the underrated Nate & Margaret, also shows up on-screen here and adds an extra spark.
Kelton Jones's lensing is bright and vibrant, though that's pretty much a description for the entire film. Aj Hamilton's production design is comfortably quirky, while Clint Carney's editing perfectly captures a film where watching the characters respond to one another is half the fun.
A true gem of an indie short, Randy is an absolute winner in every single way. If you get a chance, you've simply got to check it out. For more information on the film, visit its Facebook page or check out the Seattle Shorts website.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic