I’m already giggling again as my mind recounts the phenomenal fifteen minutes that is “Last Shot Love.” While I gather my senses, I’ll get the basics out of the way. The short film screened during the “Heartbeats” section of the “Made in Arkansas” series at the Little Rock Film Festival. It was written and directed by Nolan Dean.
From the film’s Facebook page:
Meet love-struck Michael (Brian Villalobos); a 30 year old who has been waiting ten years to express the depths of his feelings for Annie (Akasha Villalobos), his best friend. But when he persuades Annie that “they owe it to their friendship” to go on one official date, he knows the time is now.
Unfortunately, Michael asks for advice from Collin (Seth Kuhn), the ever-present wing-man who has watched this platonic epic plague his friend for long enough. Collin hatches a “fool-proof plan” to make Annie fall in love with Michael… And it all goes terribly wrong.”
Brian and Akasha Villalobos are so perfectly adorable in their respective roles. Michael (Brian) portrays the guy that we’ve all seen (or been) who is forever stuck in the dreaded “friend zone.” He’s awkward around her and things seem to go wrong right when they’re starting to go right (as illustrated in the opening sequence).
Though Annie (Akasha) seems to be primarily the symbol of love and friendship in Michael’s eyes, we’re still presented with a well-rounded (and well-acted) character that you can relate to. You can see that she is probably well aware of Michael’s feelings for her and we may even surmise that she feels the same way. Dean’s writing (and the acting) allows you to forget you’re watching two characters act on screen. Once the film starts, you are able to become a fly on the wall, listening to and watching this hilarious journey between two friends.
My favorite thing about “Last Shot Love” is the dialogue. The story is great; it is solid, well written, and well executed, but the dialogue is downright genius. Most of this is illustrated by the colorful conversation between Michael and Collin (Kuhn). There aren’t many words to describe the hilarity of the dialogue, but its execution definitely enhances it. I don’t think there were thirty seconds that passed where the audience wasn’t engaged in laughter.
The executed of the “fool-proof” plan is the most strategically placed elements in the entire film (as it should be). It keeps in line with the faced-paced feel and sense of urgency the situation presents. Cleverly enough, it isn’t so over-the-top that you’re jolted out of the film. It does, however, come out of left field.
And is absolutely hilarious.
“Last Shot Love” is an absolutely fantastic romantic comedy that is wonderfully packaged into a wholesome and enjoyable fifteen minutes. The entire block of shorts presented films that stood out in their own way (more on those later). Be sure to “like” the film on Facebook in order to learn more or keep up with news on the short.
Little Rock Movie Examiner’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars