Film Review: Bummer
Bummer is an independent short drama with sci-fi and comedy elements, written and directed by Barry Worthington. The story follows Marcia (Marili Mejias) and her daughter Michelle (Hope Perry), as they move to a life of paradise in Florida after earning a great promotion, when suddenly news breaks of an imminent collision with an Earth-destroying asteroid. Bummer is a minimalistic film about a mother-daughter relationship. It presents a very dramatic inciting incident (the end of the world), while other plot points are simpler and smaller. Given that this is a short film that crosses multiple genres, it works well.
In the exposition scene, we meet Marcia and Michelle, and the characteristic differences create an immediate conflict between the characters. The mother, Marcia, is more energetic- obviously excited about the move; and her daughter Michelle would prefer staying at home, in Maryland. The performances are solid and natural, and it's easy to connect to both characters. The ongoing conflict between them creates curiosity for the next scenes. Moments after Marcia and Michelle become a little closer ("We worked really hard for it." -"I know... I am proud of you, mom."), horrible news on the radio shakes their world. The announcer brings the worst news: In a matter of hours, earth and all life upon it will be entirely destroyed.
This quickly leads to an inevitable argument. Surprisingly, Michelle's reactions are more mature and reasonable. She tries to avoid fighting with her mother, especially now, when only a few hours left to live. Instead, she offers to get out of the car and play together in the park ("I'm going to have a good time"). The park scene reveals softer and deeper sides of both characters. For the first time, both of them smile, together, realizing what's important in life.
We loved the positive message of the film: Sooner or later, we won't be here anymore. Let's take advantage of the limited time we have left here to love and be close to our loved ones, without being too judgmental about them. Bummer won four awards at LAFA in July 2019, including Best Actress in an Indie Film (Marili Mejias), Best Young Actress (Hope Perry), Honorable Mention: Editing and Honorable Mention: Score (Barry Worthington).
About the director: A filmmaker from Maryland, Barry Worthington has written, directed, edited, acted, and has even sometimes been the cinematographer for almost all of his films such as "Kin" (2011) and "Hollywood Trash" (2013) while also bringing together award-winning casts and crew. In high school, Worthington helped teach English to foreign students by showing American films as well as his own. He also taught the students how to make their own films, following one of his mentors' philosophy that film is a uniting art form. Worthington realized he wanted to become a film-maker when he was a youth and watched what became his favorite film, "Jaws". He graduated from Towson University in 2010, majoring in Electronic Media and Film, and afterward promptly founded his own production company Limitless Films. In May 2018, he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Film and Electronic Media from American University. His range of work has spanned from dramas to science fiction, as well as comedy, which have won international film festivals and awards. Along with his film work, he has produced, edited, and filmed several international television programs including "White House Chronicle" on PBS.