Laughter Without Borders

BY Daniel PrattPublished Jun 7, 2012

Comedy is certainly subjective and what one may find amusing another may not. The Laughter Without Borders short film program has several hilarious entries, and several duds that will undoubtedly evoke eye rolling and groans.

Of the more comical shorts, Jesus Lover takes the misunderstanding of the name Jesus to an entirely new level as a young man returns home from school with his lover, while Show Me Yours reveals one woman's lady bits as she attempts to make right on an agreement she made as a child.

Another decent entry is Awkward Goodnight, which is spot-on with its portrayal of the dreaded end-of-date goodnight kiss.

The highlight of this program comes via Stronger, where extended male nudity takes a backseat to a clever script. Former best friends are reunited in an art studio and are forced to pose in the nude together, occasionally in provocative poses, all the while airing their grievances with one another and trying to get to the bottom of where their friendship went wrong.

Another gem in this program, School Portrait nails it on the hilarity scale. A photographer gives life lessons to very young students on their school picture day, spouting out some shocking, yet entirely true observations to children that normally wouldn't hear such things for at least another ten years.

Australian entry Bear features a man in a bear suit scaring his wife off a cliff. While highly predictable, the punch line takes forever to come to fruition, which detracts from the narrative.

Similarly, 92 Skybox Alonzo Mourning Rookie Card offers several moments of hilarity, which are usurped by an otherwise clunky script and equally clunky actors. Two brothers are reunited for their father's funeral and sibling rivalry ensues. While it can be funny to watch grown men beat the snot out of each other, in this case it was just plain weird.

The Heist features three bumbling bank robbers sitting in a car reviewing their plans for their heist. With plenty of potential, it's a shame the plot was incredibly predictable, distracting from the attempted comedic banter between the would-be thieves.

SCR__BLE shows a couple playing a game of Scrabble and it's apparent that each wants nothing more than to win the game. Unfortunately, it doesn't win much laughter.

On the animation side, the program offers Bertie Crisp and Mulvar Is Correct Candidate! The former is a crude depiction of anthropomorphized white trash animals that live in a trailer park, while the latter is apparently intended to be a satirical political campaign commercial. Although, after ten seconds you wish it would just go away, which I suppose is exactly how we all feel about political commercials.

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