If you're a fan of romantic office comedies, Sean Meehan's energetic short film Over Coffee may be an ideal fit for you. It's an enjoyable short that is making its way around numerous film sites (and film festivals, hopefully) and has even received a positive nod from Blogcritics' own Hannah Marie Ellison.
With brief touches of Mike Judge's classic Office Space and Billy Wilder's Oscar-winning The Apartment, Meehan's film tells the story of teddy bear-like office schnook Andrew (winningly played by Erik Potempka) who has a huge crush on Carla (a charming Jocelyn DeBoer), who works as an executive assistant for the incredibly high maintenance Hamilton Rice (Timothy J. Cox) of Rice Realty, Inc. Andrew has had a crush on Carla for quite some time and has been looking for a way to impress her, but has come up short, on guts and opportunities. Thankfully, he has ignored the advice of his horn dog office mate David (Michael Oberholtzer) and prefers instead to act with his heart and not with his… well, you know what.
Opportunity finally arises when Carla, flustered because of her workload (Rice is very specific in all things… especially his Post-It notes), has neglected to pick up Rice's all important cup of coffee, "a ridiculously specific coffee order," as Carla says. Andrew steps in, the mensch that he is, and decides to go get the coffee for her, but is told by Carla that he has to return back to the office quickly, as Rice is making his way to the office and wants his coffee upon arrival.
All Andrew has to do is pick up a cup of coffee. Simple, right? Andrew is in for a treat, as picking up this all important coffee order turns into an unexpected adventure, involving having to chase someone for the coffee and with time running out and Rice set to walk in at any moment, Carla becomes quite tense. David is, of course, no help. He's too busy making unsuccessful passes at Carla. Right in the nick of time though, Andrew's adventure concludes and he manages to get the coffee back to the office and into the hands of the tyrannical Rice, who's busy berating anyone within earshot. What follows provides a very sweet ending to an enjoyable romantic comedy.
Sean Meehan's film is a delightful comic treat. I liked how it was funny without being dirty or risque. Now, don't get me wrong, I love movies like The Hangout and most recently Hot Tub Time Machine, movies that dare to go to that raunchy place. They're very funny indeed, whereas Over Coffee was charmingly funny, much like The Apartment. The characters in those films are people you root for. Plus, it was nice to watch a movie where the characters are not entirely governed by their genitals.
The film features some enjoyable tunes from both Eric Campo and Kevin McLeod and solid camera work from director of photography, Matt Schwarz (who also served as editor on the film with Meehan).
As for the performances, aside from the aforementioned Potempka and DeBoer, there is also a great comic performance from the always reliable Cox, who looks like he's having a ball as the boss from hell, Hamilton Rice.
It is my hope that Over Coffee is given some life on the short film festival circuit. My fingers are crossed. Please visit Vimeo to view the entire film.