That’s Opportunity Knocking is a short comedy that starts off strong, panders down and then picks back up, written and directed by Charles Pelletier. Starring Satchel André and Moronai Kanekoa, the film recently won “Best Comedy Short” at LAIFFA.
Pelletier clearly has a lot to say and harbors strong feelings about the 99% vs the 1%, which is how he opens his film and also is a theme that carries throughout.
Got 99 Problems And These Are Some
Two friends, Rob (André) and Merrit (Kanekoa), turn to a life of crime because they can’t get regular jobs due to a shrinking middle class. While intending to return a purse they found, when there’s no one home they see an opportunity to knock the place off.
Before they can pull off their heist, two of the three roommates return home, sending the two would-be robbers hiding in the bathtub, where the dynamic between the two seems to shift. The chemistry between Rob and Merrit felt believable and their problems are relatable to many struggling today, though in an extreme way.
The two returning are Tim (Thomas Anawalt) and Chelsea (Charlotte Gulezian), coming home from a show. They keep drinking and hitting on each other, which eventually leads them to a midnight romp. Their performances are over the top; that which you’d expect to see when you go to see a live performance on a stage, but it didn’t translate as believable chemistry between them onscreen.
Wally (C. Stephen Foster), the third roommate, was an interesting add to the mix. He was overly animated for someone who was supposed to be sedated. Wally has just come back from a stay at the mental ward after he had a tryst with his roommate, Chelsea. Finding her with Tim upsets Wally and causes him to take extreme measures.
These characters and the writer/director have a lot to say about the story of the 99% vs the 1% . I noted through IMDb that this filmmaking team is also known as the “99% Gang”, and at one point had or were going to have a web series. Surely, in the case of the two thieves, there’s an alternative to explore here before turning to a life of crime, especially since one of the characters is the son of a cop and the other is formerly in the military.
The other story we have going on in That’s Opportunity Knocking is the roommates’ story. So, now both male roommates will have slept with the female roommate. Where do those relationships go from there? You know it’s going to be awkward. That in itself could make for an interesting story, with lots of drama to unfold.
Let’s Get Technical
One of the plights of the independent filmmaker is funding or a lack thereof. A bigger budget means better sets. The set was a very basic apartment setup, with most of the interaction taking place in the living room of the apartment. The scenes were well lit and audio was captured well, but the score didn’t feel like it fit within the piece.
The film is twenty-two minutes and bounces back between the roommates in the living room and crooks in the bathroom for the entire second act. There was a lot of fat that could have been trimmed in editing, and still said exactly what the filmmakers wanted to say. This film would make a great SNL skit, trimmed down to five minutes.
That’s Opportunity Knocking is an early piece for the writer/director Pelletier, who definitely has potential. I look forward to seeing what else he has to say as he grows and develops as a filmmaker.
Currently, That’s Opportunity Knocking is being submitted to film festivals.
Have you ever had roommate drama? How do you and your friends make due as part of the 99%?
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