A Single Evening
Comedy/Musical, 13 min
Log line: A musical short film about dating and loneliness
very much captures the emotional rollercoaster of being single on a single evening…
A Single Evening is definitely one of the most original and relevant short films I have ever seen. Whilst not everyone will sing to its same tune, the tale it tells is undeniably one of the times, that reflects the unfortunate and often harsh dating scene that this dating-app generation finds itself in.
Written and directed by Ashlei Hardenburg-Cartagena, A Single Evening shows the audience just that – a single evening – but it’s neither boring, nor fun and games, nor entirely unrelatable. A typical evening in the life of Minnie shows her navigating through a multitude of dating apps; resulting in horrible chat-ups, biphobia, dick pics, demands for sex, and general incessant noise from the constant adverts and opinions given by the apps and the dates. In fact, if the personified apps, music, and overlapping dates from hell were not put together so well I too would want to put an end to watching it all unfold. That is to say that Ashlei Hardenburg and lead actress Rebecca Hidalgo definitely achieved in creating that sense of overpowering chaos and powerlessness in the face of it all.
Do yourself a favour by turning up the volume when you watch this short film. It is not often when watching a musical film that I feel the temptation to pause and let each lyric sit with me and the reason for this is that each line has purpose. Every musical phrase not only tells the story of the film and has melody and rhythm, but it is poignant and well written. The film asks some very valid questions that may be hard-hitting for some, including: “Are you happy with yourself?” “Do you need somebody else?” It also strikes a chord on some common yet equally complicated emotions like “Maybe I don’t need to rush” and “maybe I’m confused as hell” but “there’s no time to be alone”.
I like that the film does not take itself too seriously but shows the funny side of all the drama, from the friend needing an emergency fake call to get out of a bad date, to the apps taunting our protagonist (Minnie) with a free trial or an ‘are you sure you want to delete’ warning. Even the friend ending up on back-to-back dates in the same night with one of them being Minnie’s rejects may be a deliberate take on how frivolous and widespread the dating-app phenomenon is. The good news is that after all the chaos and emotional trauma of the night the film does end on a positive note and has a few empowering messages to share including Minnie’s roommate declaring to someone on “GrindMe” (i.e. Grindr) that he doesn’t want to be a “side piece” and Minnie coming to the realisation that she loves herself enough to be free of all the relentless dating apps.
If you have fallen victim to the dating-app scene a lot of the messages from A Single Evening may resonate with you, and maybe even hit too close to home. One thing’s for sure, this short film very much captures the emotional rollercoaster of being single on a single evening in a desperate pursuit to curb loneliness by succumbing to all the false promises offered by dating apps. It is an interesting take on the dating world of today and is almost so effective that it may put you off ever using dating apps. It does however serve as an important reminder that self-love and learning to be comfortable alone are far more important than chasing fantasies of love.
A Single Evening is available to rent on the Lesflicks Video on Demand Platform now!
Watch the trailer
This article was written by:
Reviewer & Writer
Ping believes in the power of love and kindness, and that "love is love" no matter what shape or form it comes in. She would like to see positive representation for all walks of life in film and media.