Ben Dovre (2012) – By Cary Conley

Ben has just turned 40 and one of the gifts his wife gives him is his first visit to the doctor for a prostate exam. You see, Ben has a long family history of prostate trouble and his wife is justifiably worried. We first meet Ben in his bedroom eating grapes like an ancient royal. He is expecting special treatment from his wife who chooses this time to break the news that she’s scheduled a prostate exam for him. After nearly blinding her with a grape he coughs up at the news of his upcoming exam, Ben and his wife have a heated discussion about the scheduled exam. It’s bad enough he has to submit to said exam, but his wife also tells him she has scheduled the appointment with her own doctor–a woman. Ben thinks of every potential embarrassing thing that could go wrong: a female doctor checking his prostate; a doctor with large fingers; his nervousness creating a farting problem; and so on.

After several visits to various doctors, and several funny false starts, Ben finally submits to the exam with who he thinks is a perfect doctor. This proctologist is witty, articulate, and sensitive, and Mrs. Dovre really likes him. Plus, to Ben’s great relief, he also has small fingers. But after successfully completing the exam, Ben and his wife are relaxing in the hot tub and drinking wine when the doctor calls to discuss a missing item with Ben….

Ben Dovre is a very funny, 13-minute film that addresses the age-old fear middle-aged men have: submitting to a prostate exam. There are quite a few jokes built into the witty script, written by Doug Carter, who also directed the short. These include some of the more obvious gags such as a fear of large fingers or of objects accidentally being left, er…behind, but also other jokes like the flashback to his father’s prostate exam when he had terrible gas that managed to keep the doctor at bay for a while (this had never occurred to me as a possibility…I’m now going to watch what I eat the day before I go for my next exam!). There are also some very unique and creative gags in place to embarrass Ben that are laugh-out-loud funny. However, I don’t want to spoil all the fun, so I will resist the temptation to reveal them all.

Sean Tyson stars as Ben while Lori Kokotailo stars as his wife. The two make a perfect duo as they argue about the upcoming appointment. The supporting cast is equally good as well, including the doctor with beefy fingers who sometimes needs a running start for deep penetration and the proctologist who becomes a bit too overexcited at the prospect of "rooting around" Ben’s bottom. There are some really fun scenes as well such as the flashback to Ben’s father’s exam as well as an hysterical "from-the-inside of the anus" view of one doctor preparing for insertion.

As mentioned earlier, the film finishes on one last note of hilarity that has Ben relaxing in the hot tub and hoping to celebrate with his wife when a distressing call from Ben’s doctor comes through. I can’t spoil all the fun, but I can say that Ben Dovre is a terrific comedy that pokes fun at the fear middle-aged guys have of their first prostate exam. But the film also manages to gently drive home the fact that prostate cancer is relatively easy to catch in its early stages with proper precautions, so we have a comedy with a bit of a message.

Ben Dovre has been a popular film on the festival circuit and has won multiple awards. If you are interested in watching the film you may go to its Vimeo site at http://vimeo.com/68739661.