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The Independent Critic

Jonathan Erwin, Tammy Sanow, Lucy Borchers, Timothy J. Cox
Emerson Adams
Malcolm Vanderwoude
21 Mins.

 Movie Review: Rewriting Mallory 
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Mallory (Tammy Sanow) is having a bad day. A very bad day. 

Joshua (Jonathan Erwin) is writing about it. 

Written by Malcolm Vanderwoude and directed by Emerson Adams, Rewriting Mallory is a just under 21-minute dramatic short about two people whose lives intersect in the most unusual of ways. Joshua is a young man dealing with grief following the death of his sister who is encouraged by his therapist to turn to writing as a means of processing and expressing his emotions. Mallory, alternately, always seems to be one step behind and in the course of one really crappy day finds everything she cares about in life starting to crumble. 

Rewriting Mallory has sci-fi undertones mixed in with an abundance of interpersonal drama and even surprisingly sweet and endearing romance. The film asks the question "Are we truly the authors of our own narrative?"

The answers might surprise us all. 

Sanow is charming as Mallory, whom we can quite decide if she's full-on inept or just truly down on her luck. Sanow keeps us rooting for her as her day from hell spirals into the kind of news that no one should ever receive alone. The film picks up, and for my money has its truly shining moments, once she visits a neighborhood diner/coffeehouse type of joint. 

Jonathan Erwin's Joshua is both a character in and the narrator of this unique story. Essentially good-hearted even as his words have more of an impact than he quite possibly realized, Erwin sells Joshua's emotional freedom as he really starts writing and even more as the film progresses. 

Lensing by Vy Tran is effective throughout and I was particularly impressed by the ways in which Tran found to sell the film's emotional resonance while embracing its darker tones. Kudos to for Willow Richeson's costume design for the film and Marina Carey's art direction. 

I must confess that I found myself most engaged with Rewriting Mallory in the film's final moments as the story evolved, the tone shifted, and I became enchanted by these characters. 

Rewriting Mallory is currently on its indie festival run and should have no problem continuing to entertain audiences on the indie and microcinema circuit. Watch for it and check it out if you get the chance. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic