Girls misbehaving has become a popular premise in mainstream comedy, and independent ‘hang-out’ flick Wild Girl Waltz, written and directed by Mark Lewis, follows that trend but presents us with a much more realistic set up.
Wild Girl Waltz is a prime example of independent comedy done right. A little gem of a film that deserves to do well.
Friends Tara (Samantha Steinmetz) and Angie (Christina Shipp) take some pills to escape from the boredom of day to day life, much to the dismay of Tara’s boyfriend Brian (Jared Stern) who ends up having to babysit them for the day. Shot in Massachusetts the film boasts a picturesque location that epitomises the small-town life of the three lead characters.
Christina Shipp steals the show with a laugh out loud performance that wouldn’t look out of place in a Hollywood comedy, and the trio have a brilliant chemistry that makes them a believable group of friends. Without this chemistry and the performances of the actors the film would be sorely lacking, but as a character study it works brilliantly and the three bounce off each other with perfect comedy timing. At times the script and delivery of the lines feels a little forced, but for the most part the actors seem to be genuinely enjoying what they’re doing which makes for an upbeat comedy romp.
The camerawork and aesthetic style is simple yet effective, the camera is rarely still but manages to avoid inducing sea sickness like many hand held style films. Although this does nothing to mask the film’s low budget (just $10,000) it does however give it a down to Earth, realistic feel with a story about friendship that we can all relate to. One slight downfall in the film are a couple of extensive scenes that consist of long takes and music, with no dialogue and little action. The opening title sequence becomes slightly reminsicent of a scene in Family Guy where Peter is complaining about the length of the opening theme song for American sitcom Maude; we’re looking at an extensive clip of a road and listening to the opening song for what starts to feel like a very long time, which leaves you drumming your fingers in frustrated anticipation.
Wild Girl Waltz is a fun and uplifting comedy with some solid performances; I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of Christina Shipp in the future. It’s more realistic and relatable than its big budget contemporaries and the comedy timing is spot on. Independent film is becoming more and more popular, and Wild Girl Waltz is a prime example of independent comedy done right. A little gem of a film that deserves to do well.