We are all suckers for a good romcom and Tim Wilkime serves up the best of the genre with Staycation – a hilarious, intelligent and thoroughly entertaining short, carried by the most charming characters since Netflix Love’s Mickey and Gus. It’s 16 minutes of undiluted, love-affirming fun, which will restore your faith that love really does conquer all, even when it’s up against financial struggles, food poisoning and a mosquito infestation!
Teacher Jill and graphic designer Peter are newlyweds who decide to honeymoon in a tent…In their living room. What follows is a less than ideal couple of weeks which will really put their love to the test. Staycation is a romantic comedy full of hilarity and humanity, with no cheese in sight. It’s cleverly written, observed and performed, it’s hugely relatable and undeniably delightful.
Wilkime wrote Staycation after he got married himself and had to go through that thing all couples dread – going over their finances. “We had many discussions and fights over how we spent our money and the jobs we took/turned down as we’re both freelancers. Combining these issues with a staycation scenario felt like a funny but grounded way to see a couple figure things out” – the director recalls. Ironically the Wilkimes spent their honeymoon in Thailand, which inspired the annoying couple in Staycation, bragging about it to Peter and Jill.
Wilkime delivers something really special to his audience – a film handled with a delicate touch and a subtle sense of humour, not something you’d expect from someone with a background in sketch comedy. “I wanted to go against a lot of the technics I traditionally use and do something with little coverage, longer takes, slower paced edits, darker images and find humor out of honest situations and conversations rather than saturating a scene with jokes” – the director explains.
The outcome of this exercise in restraint is an intelligent, thoughtful and deeply touching film, which still manages to get plenty of belly laughs. Actors Britt Lower and Avery Monsen do a stellar job as Jill and Peter. Somehow their characters manage to be frustrating, inspiring and profoundly vulnerable all at once. They also seem undeniably real and my brain flatout refuses to accept that the words coming out of their mouths have been scripted, so convincing are the actors’ performances.
At the end of Staycation, I couldn’t help but wonder what happens next? I am certain that Jill and Peter have so much more to say and I hope that Tim Wilkime will give them the chance to do so in a feature or maybe even a series. For now though, he is writing a feature inspired by a different short he’s made called Milton. Stay tuned to hear more about it!