Director Ellie Heydon (Pelicans, Safe Word) and writer/actress Lucy Heath (Better) have joined their talents and made a funny short called Pragma. Pragma is screening during this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. It is their different look at romance from a more analytical and pragmatic perspective.
Online dating has existed for decades. Pragma takes it a step further. Once part of the program, young people’s likes, dislikes, demeanour, etc. are mapped out and then they are algorithmically paired with someone they have a high chance of ending up in a long-term relationship with. All very scientific!
Once paired up they spend a week together being put through a bunch of exercises called compatibility assessments with the aim of finding a life partner. The person they are best “suited” for.
One woman in the program, Willow (Lucy Heath), is paired off with a man, but her eye wanders to another. Jack (Phil Dunster – Murder on the Orient Express – 2017, Judy) and Willow feel sparks with each other and not the people they have been paired up with. So they both have a decision to make. Whether they will comply with the so-called science of Pragma or their own hearts.
Besides Heydon and Heath, Pragma was executive produced by Jason Sudekis (Ted Lasso). His involvement is easy to spy as a couple of actors from the wonderful series, Ted Lasso, like Phil Dunster and Nick Mohammed (The Martian, Bridget Jones’s Baby). The strength of the cast and the rather tongue-in-cheek perspective the story takes are the backbones of the 19 minute short. Pragma asks the question as to whether love is a science rather than an art.