Director’s Statement

For my first film, I wanted to try and make something that quietly reflected America's fractured climate, by questioning the ingrained beliefs and coping mechanisms espoused by both sides of its current division (as well as their caricatured view of each other), in a way that somehow still functioned as an entertaining diversion from the mire of the very news-cycle it confronts.

It felt to me that the level of outrage in response to what we are witnessing had become itself an obstacle to healing the nationwide breakdown in nuance and communication - and I feared ladening the film too heavily with its thematic ambitions could end up dragging it into that very same echo chamber. Instead, I wanted to lean into its human aspects, disguising my intentions beneath a funny, unusual love story - a fable that hopefully fully satisfies as that alone, whilst not short-changing those who wish to dig deeper.

Although the narrative of the film may seem familiar, I’ve tried to present it in a way that urges against expectation. Norms are shifting, and we are potentially complicit. On that note, the film is transparent about its role as a story: the fourth wall’s broken, the characters presented for our judgment, and the edit affects the action onscreen just as much as the action affects the edit. This is our tale to change, to ignore, or to engage with - much as is the case with this moment in time.

However, if just being distracted and made to smile for 20 minutes is all an audience wishes to take from it, then that too will be its own success. At a time in history when even bearing witness to a political machine many feel powerless to change can feel like work, sometimes it's ok to come up for air.

I shot it in two challenging 12 hour days (the spectre of what a third day could have accomplished still haunts me), with an exceptional crew around me, and I truly couldn't have done so without their sleeves-up willingness to tackle this as a team. The whole process has been an incredible learning curve, and I’ll head back in front of the camera with an even greater respect for those behind, all the time itching for another chance to join them.

Thanks so much for visiting the site.

Tom Riley.