A Simple Misunderstanding (2012) – By Misty Layne

A SIMPLE MISUNDERSTANDING is a new short film, written and directed by Matt Barry and filmed entirely in Baltimore, Maryland.

Alison Munro, a bored and lonely housewife trapped in an unhappy and loveless marriage, seeks the counsel of a therapist, Dr. Teagarten, which brings out her husband’s suspicion and jealousy. After George forbids her from seeing Dr. Teagarten again, Alison defies his wishes and, in a moment of despair, makes inappropriate advances to the doctor, forcing him to cancel their sessions. As Alison becomes more detached from her husband and increasingly desperate for the doctor’s attention, it leads her to make a false accusation toward the doctor, triggering her husband’s rage, and leading to consequences for all involved.

A SIMPLE MISUNDERSTANDING has an interesting plot, that is pretty tight and works extremely well in the short film format. The action here moves quickly and doesn’t waver for a second. The fact that there are only two locations in the film helps in keeping with the minimalistic aesthetics of the film. Things escalate rather fast here but given the emotionally abusive state that Alison is living in, it doesn’t seem entirely unrealistic.

Unfortunately, the acting in this one isn’t really up to par. Bill Linzey as George does a nominal job but Laura Bianca as Alison is less believable and convincing in her role as an abused housewife. She is flat and emotionless and her one crying scene does nothing to convince us that this woman is miserably unhappy. They utilized a split shot here – going back and forth between George’s point of view on one side of the bathroom door to Alison’s on the other – they should’ve stuck with George’s the whole time as it made Alison’s crying a bit more believable.

Matt Barry has a good idea here and given the right actors, this could be a coup. I’d love to check out some of his previous works to see how far he’s come and I’m eager to see what he brings forth in the future. If you’re interested in learning more about A Simple Misunderstanding, you can visit their site here.