The Comedy of Social Awkwardness in ‘Hasta la Vista’

Hasta la Vista is a humorous tale of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time that is sure to make you laugh.

For many people, socializing with others does not come easy. While there are individuals who flourish at forging interpersonal relationships, there are those who struggle to maintain a normal conversation. Especially now, in a time where we are so disconnected due to our current use of modern technology, social butterflies are becoming a dying breed.

In the world of film, however, social awkwardness has become a point of interest. Actors like Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg are known for playing the archetypal socially awkward nerd with a heart of gold. It is the sort of character to which many can relate, and in some cases, may find attractive. One example of the trope can be found in Hasta la Vista, a short film directed and edited by Matt Kazman and Matt Porter and written by Josh Rabinowitz. Featuring the alumni of the short-lived truTV sketch comedy program, ‘Friends of the People,’ this twenty-three-minute-long piece has appeared in film festivals in New York City, Boston, Austin, and Los Angeles. With great writing and engaging characters, ‘Hasta la Vista’ will show you the lighter side of being antisocial.

Andy (Josh Rabinowitz) is a young socially awkward man who is brought to a party by his friend, Craig (Kevin Barnett), and starts to hit it off with a woman named Henrietta (Jackie Zebrowski). Things are going well, until he says something that comes off as inappropriate, which drives her away.

Rabinowitz does a tremendous job on two fronts in Hasta la Vista, serving as both the script writer and the lead actor. In the former role, he succeeds at making some witty jokes and hilarious character moments that helps him excel in the latter, which he also pulls off very well. The writing in this short film is reminiscent of an episode of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ or ‘Louie,’ where it focuses on the misunderstandings and idiosyncrasies of the protagonist.

The cast of characters is fun to watch, as well. Andy is a relatable and entertaining individual, with his social anxiety and determination to set things right. While most of the other characters are not seen very much, they still have pronounced personalities that make them charming. Craig is the jock-like best friend that makes a great foil to Andy. One of the girls at the party, Ginger (Sarah Dooley) is amusing as someone who thinks it is cool to be socially awkward. The waitress, Steph (Sabrina Jalees) has a brief yet comical part where she helps Andy with his problems.

All of the roles are brilliantly written and acted, and add to the humor of Hasta la Vista. Also, there is a twist at the end that cleverly ties the story together. In summary, ‘Hasta la Vista’ is a smart, funny short film that is sure to give you a good time.