London Independent Film Festival Short: Cashpoint
Monique Needham’s directorial debut Cashpoint shares the story of a young woman’s internet date. This revealing comedy screened in competition at the London Independent Film Festival.
Camille (Ani Nelson) decides to go on a date with a guy she met on a dating app. Cautious at first, she is eventually won over by his looks and charm. That is, until the bill arrives, and he is unable to pay. What happens next she could never have predicted.
Runtime: 8 minutes
The internet age has opened up a lot of problems, and one of those is internet dating. Throw a rock and chances are you’ll hit one or two people who can tell you a horrifying internet dating story. It’s a gamble, and it’s not for everybody, but it’s a game we’ve all played at least once or twice.
Camille doesn’t really want to play the internet dating game, but she realizes her conundrum — as her sister points out; if she doesn’t want to play the game, she can sit at home alone to “Netflix and chill” solo. But being alone isn’t exactly what Camille wants either, so she jumped into the dating game. Her first date, which we get to see fully via flashback, is quite the unorthodox encounter.
Everything starts sweet and innocent enough. Camille is charmed by Craig (Kadeem Pearse), and he genuinely wants to get to know her, skirting talks of work for more personal details. Things continue to go well, and we see that they’ve moved closer to one another as the drinks flow plentifully. Things don’t start to get rocky until the check is delivered, then things enter a new stratosphere of weird.
The film does a good job at capturing the authenticity of an awkward first internet date. In particular, its dialogue rings true and feels real, and its characters are all pretty well defined. Until it comes to Craig’s odd date maneuver...
The main problem is that, in hindsight, its major twist isn’t motivated. Perhaps, it doesn’t need to be, since the pain inflicted by our internet suitors hardly ever comes with a sense of clarity or logic; however, in this case, I think we needed more of a reason for Craig to do what he does. Otherwise, the short just feels like an 8-minute set up to a punchline. At least the final joke lands, causing a pretty good chuckle, but it doesn’t sit with you very long or make you think much.
Rating: 3 bottles of wine outta 5.
About The Filmmaker: Writer and director Monique Needham started working in television production working on shows such as Big Brother and Come Dine With Me. After years working in the advertising industry, she has returned to her passion for filmmaking. In 2013, she wrote and directed the web series Housemates which was picked up by Teen Vogue and Essence magazine.
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