Sunday, April 28, 2013

Talking Tribeca: Fortune House

I’ve had the pleasure of screening some feature-length and short selections from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, which takes place April 17th-28th.

Fortune House
Directed by Matthew Bonifacio
About the Film

This 9-minute short takes place at a Korean restaurant, where Mei Ling works and gets considerable pressure from her mother, who wants her to meet a nice man and get married. None of the eligible bachelors who dine in the restaurant ever seem to notice Mei Ling, and that all changes when the eccentric Peter arrives in a shirt buttoned up all the way to the top and immediately engages in conversation with the previously invisible waitress. What ensues is an awkward but charming series of interactions which find Peter dressed similarly but in a different color each time, removing the earplugs he wears all the time for the duration of each visit to the restaurant, where he orders a five fish soup without the fish (because they’re bottom-feeders). It’s a pleasant and sweet story that manages a last-minute twist that isn’t all that surprising but is still reassuring and endearing. Michael Aronov, who portrays Peter, does a great job of playing a man with clear social tics and helping to open him up to be fully accessible. This tale of fortune cookies won’t reveal hilarious messages embedded inside, but it will produce smiles. This short was showing as part of the “Unlimited Ride” program.

See it or skip it? Yes. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s hard not to like.

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