Love takes an imaginary twist in Motke Dapp’s inventive romantic comedy, Everyday Yeti.
Love is a complicated process. I know, like you needed to hear that. Yes, on its surface it’s a one on one game, but when you look deeper into the playbook, you realize there are other players involved. There’s the other person’s family. If you marry her, you marry her family. Oh, there are sometimes pets too. Can’t forget those allergies! And yes, there are the friends. Some can be supportive, others … not so much. But what if your friend is imaginary? She’s an imaginary friend who is looking for love too. Never thought about that, huh? Well luckily Motke Dapp has, and in doing so has made one of the quirkiest and most divine short films in recent memory.
Everyday Yeti revolves around Yeti, the imaginary friend of Phineas, a young man looking for love. Yeti is a talkative, opinionated, quirky sidekick who, like her friend, is looking for love, but being imaginary, she fails to be seen and her love continuously goes unrequited. Though for different reasons, most being Yeti’s influence, Phineas is having the same struggles, but he finally has caught a break with Roxanne, a gorgeous and understanding woman who accepts Phineas and his friend, even if he can only see her. The film chronicles the relationship, which goes through the typical romantic playbook. Boy meets girl. Boy really likes girl. Girl really likes boy. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back. However, our focus is not so much on Phineas and Roxanne’s happily ever after, but more so on our pal Yeti, who even though her friend has found love, she has not. Throughout the whole film we ask, “Will she or won’t she?” Yeti is tied to Phineas, so if his romantic interest doesn’t have an imaginary friend, will anyone see her?
Everyday Yeti is a romantic comedy of sorts, but it is billed as a film de femme. A film de femme is a genre unique to 48 Hour Film Projects, which invented the category to encourage strong female roles. It is easy to see how romantic comedies easily slide into this genre, given that many feature strong female characters and boy, Everyday Yeti has that! Sara Antonio as Yeti is an absolute wonder! She steals the show straight from the get go. In a clever opening, Dapp has Phineas (played sublimely by Matt Williams) sit alone at a table waiting for his date. At the beginning of the shot he is alone, but as people cross the frame, clever editing reveals Yeti is there and once she shows up, you don’t forget her. Antonio tackles all the emotions usually reserved for “real people” and in doing so shows us our imaginations have feelings too. The entire cast is top mark, but it is Antonio who truly shines. Helping that shine is the beautiful cinematography by John Matysiak. It has all the colors and lightness associated with romantic comedies. The editing by Ken Conrad is as on the mark as Dapp’s dialogue. Paper Ghost Pictures, the film’s production company, hit a home run with this marvel.
Love is a complicated process. I know, I said that before, but it’s the truth. It can be a pain, but it also can be a whole heck of a lot of fun and Everyday Yeti is just that. Do yourself a favor. Give your self nine minutes, sit back with a small bowl of popcorn, maybe share the bowl with another, and watch Everyday Yeti. You’ll be smiling from start to well after finish.