Short Film Sunday: Gregory Go Boom

Title: Gregory Go Boom

Director: Janicza Bravo

Released: 2013

Length: 17 minutes

Director Janicza Bravo once saw a woman arrive at a restaurant for a blind date, only to freak out once they discovered the man waiting for her was in a wheelchair. This curious, moralistic tableau became the inspiration for Bravo’s short film Gregory Go Boom.

Michael Cera plays a socially awkward young man in a wheel chair looking for love. Either romantic from a series of dates or platonic from his distant older brother (played by co-writer Brett Gelman.) What follows is a dark barely-comedy that shines a lot of prejudice and honesty. It is all well and good preaching equal rights but when presented with the scenario above, how would you act? Gregory Go Boom makes no attempt to answer the question, instead falling back on absurdism, jet black comedy and an unsettling, powerful ending.

Michael Cera is excellent and Brett Gelman can always combine dark menace with irritable humour to great effect. The two meal leads alongside various female co-stars make for a disjointed and uncomfortable viewing experience that is hard to pin down, but is definitely interesting.

A difficult but refreshing piece of work that gives Michael Cera an opportunity to explore a side to his acting abilities rarely seen elsewhere.

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