Sam & Emma

Drama, 15 min

Synopsis: When their love wanes after a miscarriage, two heartbroken women try to piece together their relationship, highlighting the hardship and dysfunction that can arise from trauma and grief.


would serve very well as a music video to a heartbreak song…

Much like Charlotte Day Wilson sings in the film’s chosen song, “Work”, I do feel Sam & Emma could do with ‘a little work’ to make it a more seamless and well-rounded short film. Remove the narrative and awkward break-up scene at the beginning as well as the sudden aged-couple parallel imagery at the end, and you’d be left with a good, engaging music video. Alas, much like Sam and Emma’s relationship, this short film has its fair share of highlights with beautifully captured loving moments, but they are dispersed with despair and tragedy that are not entirely believable. The foundation of this short film is commendable with a dramatic storyline and some decent chemistry between the two women; there is just some patching up to be done in more ways than one.

Written and directed by, as well as starring Vanessa Leigh, this was clearly her brainchild and a valiant one at that. Sam & Emma follows two women who are on the brink of separation and the audience is offered a series of flashbacks to appreciate the long and emotional journey this couple have endured to get to this point. There are the happy-go-lucky moments of their first meeting together with the precious intimate moments, that are then contrasted with the traumatic times of arguing and experiencing miscarriage. The bulk of the footage would serve very well as a music video to a heartbreak song and/or given more resource this story could’ve been fleshed out to fulfil its true potential as a feature or longer short film with dialogue and more room for acting the parts.

Here’s the crux of it; heartbreak, especially after a long, deep relationship is difficult to convey. However, being shown the couple’s progression from “honeymoon phase”, sharing giant cheesy puffs whilst watching TV, grocery shopping together, and pillow fights to then almost becoming parents and struggling to overcome the sadness and friction of the aftermath is captivating to see. The heart and soul of the story does beat hard and fast; and in fact it is nice to see a woman-loving-woman relationship being unveiled in all its very real ups and downs. Sam & Emma left me wanting more and that is an achievement in itself.

If you enjoyed watching Hello, Goodbye, I Still Love You or Light in Dark Places then you may also appreciate this film.


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Writer, Reviewer, Social

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.