Review by David Baldwin
It is February 2020, and Jamie (Whitney Call) is celebrating her birthday at home with her friends and her sister/roommate Blake (Mallory Everton). The pair are happy and excited for all the things they plan to do in the months ahead. Flash to March, as the COVID-19 pandemic sets in and everything changes overnight. Weeks into lockdown, they discover a letter informing them of a COVID outbreak at their Nana’s (Anna Sward Hansen) retirement community. Fearing for her safety, the pair decide they must take a road trip to save her before anything bad happens.
There is something inherently morbid about a Comedy being set during the time of COVID. With everything we have seen and learned throughout the last year, very few of those memories strike me as being funny or entertaining. That was the mindset I had watching RECOVERY, and I am certain the Creative Team behind it are expecting many others to feel the same way. With that in mind, they do their best to tip toe along the line of good and bad taste, poking fun at the more ridiculous elements of our lives for the past 12 months and leaving out the more traumatic ones. Some of these moments land well and others land with a tone-deaf thud (the jokes about their sister’s family being on a cruise become excruciating quickly). When they are not mining from the COVID well, they take detours into deranged, nonsensical situations that could only happen in an Indie film. I laughed out loud at a joke involving mouse afterbirth, but the rest of the laughs were far too infrequent for their own good.
While I think the ending is a bit tacky and lacked catharsis, RECOVERY as a whole tries its very best to be a light journey that we can all at least partially relate to. It clocks in at a breezy 80 minutes, and the breeziness is mainly a result of the camaraderie between Call and Everton. The pair wrote the Film (with Everton acting as Co-Director) and have an undeniable chemistry and bond that most actors could only dream of. They work off each other brilliantly and are comfortable taking turns at landing the best jokes. They pick each other up any time they stumble, and are genuinely having a good time making the movie together. I just wish they cut back the accents and tones Everton keeps reaching for – they just get more bewildering as the Film goes on and have zero explanation for existing.
RECOVERY screens Wednesday, March 17, 2021 starting at 1 PM.