More Perfect Union (2010) – By Cary Conley

Hank is a young man who has just had a huge fight with his girlfriend. He takes off and ends up at the bed and breakfast he had booked for the two of them for the weekend. The bed and breakfast is run by an older Indian couple, Sabir and Neha. Hank, depressed and stressed about many things, convinces Sabir to stay up late and drink with him. The two spend an enjoyable night drinking beer, playing guitar, and generally having plenty of fun. But Hank wakes up the next morning to Neha tossing Sabir’s belongings out the window as Sabir stands helplessly in the yard. It seems that Neha has taken exception to Sabir’s actions and has thrown him out of the house for bringing shame to the business.

With Sabir now living under a tarp he’s strung up between some trees in the woods and Neha not speaking to anyone, Hank feels guilty about causing the rift between the couple. He takes it upon himself to try to mend the relationship even as he continues to ignore his girlfriend’s calls on his cell phone. What ensues is a hilarious series of vignettes as Hank moves between Sabir and Neha, passing fake messages to them and trying to convince Neha to take her husband back.

More Perfect Union is a sweet, funny 30-minute short. Filmed beautifully with strong acting, More Perfect Union is expertly balanced between drama and comedy and is highly entertaining. Arish and Neena Sahani who star as Sabir and Neha respectively, are the quintessential Indian couple who have forged a life in a new country and are fiercely proud of this. Their story is both fascinating and captivating and impresses Hank when he learns of their deep and abiding love for each other. This makes it all the more painful for Hank when he realizes that he has inadvertently caused so much turmoil for the couple. You see, Neha is especially proud that even though the new local hotel has taken much of their business, the few remaining customers they have are quite loyal. She believes it is because of their excellent service, thus her anger at her husband for "lowering" himself by becoming too friendly with the guests. For his part, Max Azulay is hilarious as Hank. He plays guitar and sings about his love for Neha’s grits and curry. But the funniest sections are reserved for the scenes involving Max running back and forth between Sabir and Neha trying to repair their relationship. As he first tries to reason with Neha, than cajole her, finally becoming frustrated and yelling and threatening her, it reminds one very much of a junior high break-up and the inevitable go-between that spends the school day sending messages between the 12-year-old would-be romantics. There is an extremely funny and ironic twist at the end involving a monument Hank wants to visit that also sends a pointed message to the viewer about what Hank has done to his girlfriend.

Director Matt Porter has created a highly enjoyable film that is recommended viewing. More Perfect Union can be seen at http://vimeo.com/23156897.