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The Independent Critic

Writer/Director
Cody Campanale
Starring
Larsen Black, Michela Cannon, Lucas Carravetta, Bryde MacLean
Running Time
12 Mins.

 "Roofies and Romance" Review 
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The first film from writer/director Cody Campanale, Roofies & Romance is a psychological portrait of a sociopathic date rapist as he prowls for a new victim on a lonely night. When he sets his sights upon one unfortunate young woman, he quickly discovers that he's not the only one on the prowl on this particular night.

In a mere 12 minutes, newcomer Campanale nicely sets up the textbook date rape scenario with scenes that play out like an uncomfortable cliche' that is unfortunately all too true much of the time. The film is shot by Alexander Carson in dark, ominous tones with shots of a subtle reddish tone that quietly bring home the peril that lies underneath the seemingly everyday scenes inside an urban bar.

What's most disturbing about Roofies & Romance is its normalcy, a tone that works in driving home the filmmaker's acknowledged vision of bringing to life some of the hidden and/or overlooked personality types present in a date/serial rapist.

Caroline Pandeli's production design succeeds in giving the film's setting, a real life frat house basement, into a dive bar where every corner has an eerie quality about it. The music of Gutterfire blends in nicely with the film.

While the film's sense of normalcy, even given a rather startling opening scene, works nicely Campanale's dialogue occasionally feels a bit lacking in authenticity perhaps, it would seem, evidence of simply trying too hard to accomplish so much in the film's 12-minute run time.

Modest dialogue issues aside, the film's ensemble cast is stellar throughout and Roofies & Romance is a solid first effort from Cody Campanale.

    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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