In the short film WAFFLE, two women in comfy pajamas lounge on the couch laughing loudly. Kerry takes a swig from a wine bottle, “Damn,” she says emphatically, “We drank too much.”

“Yeah, we’re idiots,” Katie agrees, leaning in with an exaggerated eye roll.

They’re going to make waffles to “sop up all the alcohol,” but first Katie wants to hear more about what’s been going on between Kerry and Luke. Kerry starts dishing the news about kissing Luke after work when Katie stops her abruptly. “I was a part of the story too, remember?”

Kerry apologizes and starts again, but this time the same story involves Katie and another man along with Kerry and Luke. Now all four of them worked late and both women get kissed by their cars.

What’s going on here?

To reveal even a moment more of the plot of WAFFLE would be a near-criminal act because this short film is delightful. Set all in one upper-class home, this 10-minute journey had me laughing with fear, frowning with surprise, and tilting my head with my eyes wide as I tried to wrap my mind around its many twists and clever revelations.

There isn’t enough praise to go around for the three-woman team behind WAFFLE. Co-writers Kerry Barker and Katie Marovitch have put together a devilishly smart script that skips one step ahead of the audience at every turn. Just when you think you’ve figured out where the story’s headed, they lob in a clever curveball you probably won’t see coming. The dialogue is spot-on, weaving in classic horror lines in a way that never feels stale. “I don’t like getting upset,” Katie tells Kerry in the middle of an argument. “My last best friend got me upset and it did not end well for her.”

The co-writers also star as the film’s main characters, Kerry and Katie (I’ll let you guess who plays who), and their acting work is on par with their writing. Marovitch cranks it to eleven without going over the top as a spoiled rich woman who is as lonely as she is bossy, while Barker plays the perfect counterpoint as the rational “straight man.”

Of course, no film succeeds to this degree without a talented director behind the camera. Carlyn Hudson is that talent. Hudson has a real knack for comedy, placing the camera at just the right angle to achieve the maximum reaction. A great example of this comes when Katie decides to give a dance performance for Kerry. Instead of getting in close, Hudson hangs back, letting us take in the absurdity of one adult woman dancing poorly for another. It’s good stuff.

WAFFLE is a lovely journey into the magic (and misery) of friendship. If you get the chance to see this one, do it.

Adrienne Clark
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