‘Standby’ is the Best Workplace Comedy Since ‘Office Space’

By  · Published on April 4th, 2017

Short of the Day

You heard me.

Co-workers can be tough to get along with, especially the closer you have to work with them. Just because two people have the same job doesn’t necessarily mean their personalities are compatible, and more often than not co-workers are people you have to get used to rather than ones with whom you forge instantaneous bonds. But as annoying as you might find the person working at the counter next to you, or over in the next cubicle, imagine how unpleasant things could be if your shared office space was the front seat of a car: just you, them, about six square feet, none of which is private or personal space, and at least eight long hours every shift.

That’s the dilemma faced by police officers, who are introduced to a new partner and then immediately thrown in a space smaller than a jail cell with them, sometimes for years. This is also the set-up for Charlotte Regan’s hilarious and BAFTA-nominated short Standby, which in five succinct minutes traces the working relationship of two strangers made partners via the police department. The narrative jumps from pivotal moment to pivotal moment over the course of their relationship, showing how from polar positions the two find common ground and even friendship. It’s charming, funny, sweet, and endearing as hell, thanks to Regan’s buoyant script and the lively performances of her leads, Andrew Paul and Alexa Morden. When the final credits role, it’s hard to believe this is Regan’s first narrative effort; she’s a natural and gifted storyteller with a real eye for characters and how they can change over time.

I can’t recommend Standby enough, but it’s my job so I’ll give it a go: as deft as it is delightful, in Standby we are given not only an outstanding and side-splitting film, we’re also introduced to a formidable new filmmaking talent in Charlotte Regan. That’s win-win in my book. Watch the crap out of this.

Source: Short of the Week

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