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100 Words Film Festival: The Club Pokes Fun at Middle Class Stereotyping

by John Schacht

September 6, 2015

This brief tongue-in-cheek foray into the Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus world works precisely because the stereotypes are so reductive.  Director/Writer Jay Thomas, with help from a gaggle of local actors (among them Donna Scott, Jon Ecklund and Tonya Bludsworth), sets this brief tale in an upper middle-class home where the women are holding their regular book club fuelled by wine and hors d’oeuvres. The husband (Ecklund) of the host (Bludsworth) finds himself excluded, picking at the food and generally getting in the way.

“I need to start my own club,” he says, and the 2-minute and 31-second film shifts on its axis at this juncture. The husband imagines what a guy’s version of the club would look and sound like, and with a neat camera trick steps off into that imaginary world. An assortment of middle-aged men with expanding waist and receding hair lines are now in the living room, arguing over generic plot twists and whether they’re believable as though they were batting back and forth a manager’s starting line-up. When the pizza delivery man (Will Poston) arrives, the story takes a mild but still risqué left turn into food-and-porn fantasy until the husband awakens to his delivered pizza.

There’s a brief knowing wink between all the characters, including the hunky pizza dude, which is the storytellers’ tacit nod to the truths percolating just below the surface. Thomas and company get the point across deftly enough, though Woody Allen, Louis CK and Judd Apatow (and even the Farrelly Brothers, frankly) should be able to rest easy.

The Club

Running Time: 2:31

Directed by Jay Thomas

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Tags: film, short films, Jay Thomas, Men Are from Mars Women Are from Venus, Donna Scott, Tonya Bludsworth, Will Poston, Louis CK, Woody Allen

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