RogerBW's Blog

Must Love Board Games 24 December 2016

2016 short romantic comedy, dir. Travis Hedges Williams, Kacie Barnes, Tyler Grezaffi: IMDb

When Quinn meets David, she has to decide whether he is a worthy suitor: she knows the rules, just as she knows the rules of her favourite games. But he doesn't seem to be following them.

Yes indeed, the core plot is thoroughly hackneyed. But it's used mostly as a skeleton on which to hang a series of board game parodies and call-outs, including Betrayal at House on the Hill, Flash Point Fire Rescue, Pandemic Legacy and Settlers of Catan.

One doesn't need to know the games to enjoy the film, though that's obviously its primary selling point: popular games tend to use easily-understood scenarios ("you're in a scary house, and one of you is a secret enemy"; "you're heroic researchers trying to stop the spread of a modern Black Death"), and it's clear what's going on even if you're missing some of the in-jokes.

The cast is small and the acting is decent, particularly from the two leads; like most romantic comedies the viewpoint is primarily on the woman's side, but David isn't the usual bland patient perfection that this sort of thing can fall into, Quinn recognises and fixes her own faults rather than just bumbling along waiting for a man-shaped reward to fall into her lap, and both actors portray these subtleties effectively in ways that go beyond merely delivering the lines in a convincing manner.

This is not world-shaking filmmaking, but it is freer of horrible mis-steps than most major releases, and I'd have been happy to spend more time with these people. The full film is available on youtube, as is a blooper reel.

  1. Posted by Shimmin at 11:03am on 08 January 2017

    Thanks for the tip, this looks pretty interesting. I've grabbed a copy for my next long trip.

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