Short of the Week

Vicky and Sam

A sappy Hollywood romance gets Meta when scriptwriters discover an unexpected power.

After Vicky’s eyes meet Sam’s across aisles of DVDs in the video store, it’s only right that they should bump hips and—after a whirlwind romance of riverside walks and cute notes—fall in love. That’s the Hollywood formula. Predictable, functional, and stuffed to bursting with gooey mush, it pulls audience heart strings every time.

But not everything is as simple as first it seems.

Cut to the writers of Vicky and Sam, plotting the story in a sleepy diner. They want to spice it up, stir in some conflict, make things juicy. They’re enjoying playing gods in the lives of their characters. After all, it’s only fiction, right?

In ancient mythology, tricksters were the gods who used their powers to play pranks and create conflict for the hell of it. Yet the joke often backfired on the trickster. There’s no backfiring here, but the writers get more than they bargained for when their characters take on a life of their own.

As a writer and storyteller, Vicky and Sam led me the question my own storytelling. What happens with the stories I tell? Do they get out of control and find a life of their own? How do the stories I tell – even the dreary, formulaic ones – get inside me and change me? How do the stories we tell as storytellers affect us as human beings?

Multilayered and self-aware, this is a short to watch and rewatch. Watch carefully for hints of a love story within a love story. Writer and Director Nuno Rocha deserves every one of the 21 awards this film has received. Vicky and Sam is storytelling at its finest.

David is a storyteller, dreamer, vagabond and writer based in Swansea, Wales. He traveled the world hunting for a damn good story and discovered brilliant stories are everywhere. To brighten your day with more storytelling goodness you can (and should) follow David @davidgmasters
  • joey joey

    This was enjoyable but forgettable.  If the love story b/w Vicky and Sam was actually interesting and humorous (and there was a hint of humor, eg. the Asian film section), the first half would have been a lot more engaging.  Because it wasn’t, the diner writers came off as incompetent storytellers and I didn’t care for them.

  • Andrew S Allen

    That was fun. I only wish the diners had done a little more with their powers.

  • Andrew S Allen

    That was fun. I only wish the diners had done a little more with their powers.

  • Induma

    what a nice film

  • Pascoe Foxell

    Yeah, I agree with joey and Andrew on this one. Some interesting ideas in there, but not quite enough punch in the execution to make it worthwhile.

  • Cindita

    I’m just wondering why they stopped there. Couldn’t them interfering, and making Sam leave BE the conflict? Instead of a “rewrite” they could have Vicky upset, and Sam go back to realize he left Vicky, maybe he thinks that they would harm her, and tells her why he left.