Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
"Something Better Somewhere Else" is a delightful film, and in some stretches, a flawless one. It tells four stories, each one immediately engaging, and gets in and out without overstaying its welcome. In a world of bloated and dumbed-down entertainment, here's a movie with the quickness and acute observation of a good short story.
So what is the flawless part? That would be the execution by director Ron Lazzeretti. Yes, he wrote and directed it, and we’ll get back to that. But what I kept noticing was the excellence in details: the acting, the casting, the dialogue, editing, music and meticulous camera placement. The feeling that not a shot was careless.
The film knows what it’s doing. The four stories have one theme: moving on. We live much of our lives, I suspect, in a state of tension between the belief that there must be “Something Better Somewhere Else” and a fear of abandoning what we know and are familiar with. The four segments apply this truth to work, love, marriage and home.
The first short, “Last Day,” involves a man leaving a job he hates at a place everyone else hates, too. He inspires admiration, envy and (after farewell drinks) even some hatred. Notice how economically Lazzeretti directs his supporting actors to make each one stand out as an individual. And watch the scene in the bar when his hero uneasily watches one conversation while mired in another.
“Wedding Night,” the second, is like an O. Henry story, and the ending creates some of the same dissatisfaction that writer was sometimes guilty of. Still, there’s a nice narrative bait-and-switch.