Deadpan Valentine
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Jamie (Mark Parsons) hasn’t left his flat in weeks. The unemployed comedian has all but given up on life. Whenever his flat mate, Scott (Jonathan Rhodes), a bad actor with an oversized ego, is at home, Jamie locks himself in his room, where he’s forced to listen to Scott as he entertains the latest in an endless string of women in the next room. He never goes out. He doesn’t talk to anyone. And even when his own mother stops by with a homemade pie, he won’t come out of his room long enough to say hello.

On the morning of Valentine’s Day, Jamie decides he’s had enough. It’s about time he got it over with and just killed himself already. But as he’s going through the medicine cabinet, looking for enough pills to do the job, he’s interrupted by someone ringing the doorbell with annoying persistence. The man at the door claims to be a deliveryman—but he’s actually Bruce (Eli Silverman), a hopped-up, gun-toting misfit who woke up on Valentine’s Day morning and decided that it was time he finally did something about Scott sleeping with Amanda (Samantha Dew), the love of Bruce’s life. The only option, he figures, is to kill Scott. But since Scott’s away, rehearsing his latest play (not to mention struggling with a love triangle of his own), Bruce decides that, for the time being, he’ll just hold Jamie hostage instead.

This low-low budget anti-romantic comedy shows that you don’t need fancy sets and mega-stars to produce an entertaining movie. Though the production value is pretty low—the picture isn’t always the best, the lighting is often off, and most of the movie takes place in either a small theater or a cheaply decorated living room set—the story makes up for it. Or at least half of it does.

Half of the story focuses on Scott, the stereotypical diva of an actor. He can’t act, he refuses to take direction, and he treats other people—whether they’re fellow actors or girlfriends or even his director—like worthless inferiors. Though his bad acting is amusing at times, his storyline gets old pretty fast. But then the film cuts back to the flat, and to Jamie and Bruce, who make the movie worthwhile. The dialogue is sharp and witty, and interaction between the two lovable losers is thoroughly entertaining.

With his debut film, writer/director/producer Robin Lindsey proves that he can make an amusing dark comedy on a shoestring budget—and I look forward to seeing more from him in the future.

Ed. Note: For more on Deadpan Valentine, visit

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