Boomerang @ Just for Laughs

Each year as part of the world renowned comedy festival here in Montreal, Just for Laughs, there is a small film festival that typically packs a punch. Or plenty of laughs. This year for its international premiere the Rylee Jean Ebsen short film Boomerang is screening.

The pandemic has forced people into all kinds of situations they never imagined. Having groceries delivered. Holding birthday parties on Zoom. Working from home. Or isolating with people they never could have imagined. Some young people found themselves out of work and having to move back in with their parents. This is where this short picks up the story from.

A millennial (Sydney Steinberg – 12 Hour Shift) is lost. Not sure what to do in life. Then the pandemic comes along, so she is forced to isolate with her parents. Moving home again. The ultimate failure in some people’s minds. Definitely in hers. I mean, it is rather depressing to be an adult and living again in your childhood bedroom. This is a hard pill to swallow for her. Especially since her parents are rather dysfunctional themselves.

Once there she witnesses firsthand just how off-center her mother Jean (Marin Hinkle – from television’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and father (Phil Abrams – Dolemite is My Name, Insidious: Chapter 3) are. She decides that she would fix her life if she takes on a lover. So she attempts to reconnect with her middle school crush (Noah Findling).

Family. What can you say? You love them but often they are a mess. Family relationships are often complex and life is often hilarious. Even in the oddest of situations. This particular family is demonstrating how you can be falling apart while sticking together.

The pandemic. It is was/is something. Full of all kinds of emotions – bad and good. Seems ripe for ideas for stories for films. A film like this can help us adjust to the fact that this pandemic is probably, in one form or another, here to stay, so we best get used to it. While we are processing that and how we are going to handle it we can try to laugh at the same time. Life can be serious and funny at the same time.