SHORT FILM REVIEW: A Nice Guy- Co-worker drama about toxic masculinity flips character dynamic expectations

We’ve all heard about, or experienced, the tired and often misogynistic trope of The Nice Guy. The best friend, hopelessly in love, who sees it as their right to be the next boyfriend of their female friend. So the title of this short is somewhat misleading, but sets the stage for the next 8 minutes where it turns that idea on its head.

But this film is not about the guys. It’s about Daina, stuck with two male co-workers, one who hounds her about going on a date, and the other a sweet, nerdy guy who she displays interest in. The film seeks to destabilize toxic ideas about how men treat women and highlight that there is always more going on than we first think. It touches on rape culture, the entitlement of toxic masculinity, and the need for a shift in the way we perceive relations between men and women. It successfully turns the expectations of the character dynamics upside down and offers an alternative to the demeaning way men sometimes talk about women.

The film is colourful with an upbeat soundtrack which seems somewhat at odds with the serious tone of the middle section. The dialogue is perhaps the best part of this short as it flows naturally and fluidly, especially when coming from Kevin Grullon. It is a slick and smooth short that makes the most of its time.

However, it doesn’t quite hit the mark and is rather forgettable. The character dynamics are not that well established, nor are the characters themselves. It is important that we find language and outlets to discuss the landscape of the #MeToo movement, yet this film is relatively weak. The script demands more of its actors and the production design feels artificial, which destabilize the illusion film seeks to create. It is a good effort and important that films such as this get made, but like the movement itself, there is more work that can be done.


by Mia Garfield

Mia Garfield has just finished a degree in Film at Falmouth University. She has written about the female voice in cinema and negotiating the position of the female director. She has just finished her first short film ‘Sonder’, keep an eye out for it at festivals in the UK. A big lover of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Mythology, her taste is varied and every time she is asked about her favourite film she gives a different answer. Today her favourite films include Howl’s Moving Castle, Memoirs of A Geisha, How to Train Your Dragon, and Big Hero 6. You can find her @miajulianna2864

2 replies »

    • Hey Olivia, the film isn’t available for the public to view online as it is still on the festival circuit. It’s next public screening is at The Official Latino Short Film Festival in NYC on September 26th.


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