Being a 30 year old virgin is not the end of the world, unless of course it is literally the end of the world. Nicole Delaney’s 15 min short YOYO (You’re Only Young Once) is a dark comedy which serves as a bittersweet reminder that romance is not dead even if everyone else is. Centred around a lovelorn optimist, who is remarkedly uncurdled by bitterness and cynicism – Delaney’s novel take on the post-apocalyptic narrative is so charming and entertaining, you can’t help but smile.
YOYO is the story of a 30 year old survivor in a world which has finally come to an end and where humanity appears to be extinct. Never having experienced love, she is now faced with the cruel possibility of dying a virgin. Until she meets the OTHER survivor that is – a strapping chap who shows up just at the right time.
“I started thinking about the things I wish I had achieved, the places I wish I’d traveled, but I soon realized who cares?”
YOYO treads a fine line between physical comedy and touching (anti) romance, and the sharp script paired with the beat-perfect performances ensure there are plenty of laughs. Nicole Delaney started writing YOYO when she was about to turn 30, with her own dating experiences and life accomplishments in mind.
“I started thinking about the things I wish I had achieved, the places I wish I’d traveled, but I soon realized who cares? What are the stakes for a character if there are still men around, or a plane for her to jump on? So I decided the world should end.” – the director explains.
Together with her leading actress Sophie von Haselberg, they wanted to tell a female story set in extraordinary circumstances, with real emotions at its heart, which was both dramatic and funny. There is so much to love about YOYO, but for me, it all comes down to the main character.
Unlike your standard post apocalyptic survivor, likely to go in search of other people and shelter, she is most concerned about finding batteries for her vibrator. With childlike stubbornness and an innocent face across which emotions melt seamlessly, the young woman is entirely endearing and utterly believable. When downhearted, she remains positive, a true believer in romantic and sexual fulfillment.
The male character in the short, played by Martin Starr is the perfect mismatch for his charming co-lead, with his bleak outlook on life and deadpan delivery of some of the best lines in the film. “You thought we’d shake hands and then shake genitals?” being one of my favourites. Starr’s impressive acting career, stretches from the small to the big screen and everything in between, and includes TV series Freaks and Geeks and Silicon Valley, as well as feature-length comedies Knocked Up and Adventureland. He’s no stranger to the short film format either, starring in festival favourites The Apocalypse and Leonard in Slow Motion.
Delaney is currently developing a sci-fi/rom-com animated series for TBS with Dan Harmon and Lesley Arfin. She is also writing the feature version of YOYO, which we cannot wait to see!