Having been single for a long time, a young man decides to find a partner by using a dating service with humorous results in the short film Undatement Center.
Dating can be awkward at the best of times. There’s embarrassing silences trying to think of something interesting to say, realising that you both have absolutely nothing in common and having too much to drink which results in you coming off as an absolute moron. We’ve all been there – some more than others. That’s why dating makes such a good situation to base comedy around and director Chris Esper wisely uses it for his latest short film Undatement Center.
We at Screen Critix have had the absolute pleasure in reviewing quite a few of Esper’s work in the past, specifically Please Punish Me, Still Life and most recently The Deja Vuers. So we know he is not only a very capable film maker but one who isn’t afraid of adding comedy into his shorts. Comedy is the hardest genre to get right in films, and Esper seems to have no problem at all.
Jack (Trevor Duke) is rather socially-awkward and hasn’t had a girlfriend for twelve years. Seeing that he is only 26 years old, that means he hasn’t had a partner since he was just 14! (Yes, we did the maths). Now, feeling that it’s time to meet a lady, Jack signs up for to a rather ridiculous dating agency; one that makes him have quick dates in front of other men (who are queuing up to meet the same lady), that make him take urine samples and more.
After being turned down by every woman he meets, Jack decides to pay an additional five hundred dollars so he can be the interviewer, doing so makes him power hungry – turning women away left, right and center – that is until the beautiful Lindsey (J.D. Achille) sits down in front of him.
What surprised me the most about Undatement Center is how fast the short flew by. I know ten minutes is not long at all, but I was enjoying the film so much that those ten minutes felt like two. I love cringe-worthy comedy, such as the stuff Ricky Gervais puts out (Extras, The Office) and I cringed and laughed at Undatement Center the same way I did when I watch the aforementioned Gervais shows.
I’d go as far as to say, I enjoyed Undatement Center so much, I’d love to see a full 90-minute feature based around the same premise, with the character of Jack fleshed out more – sort of a 40-Year Old Virgin but without the toilet humour.
Chris Esper is improving each time we see one of his productions. Undatement Center is filled with funny and great performances and well worth ten minutes of anyone’s time, especially those in need of cheering up.