My Face (2012) – By Josh Samford

It is always a wonderful surprise to find an independent film that somehow takes a very eccentric idea, but somehow manages to speak a very important and universal truth within its eccentricity. It takes a lot of vision to do this, and it seems that the filmmakers behind My Face have the knack for expressing it. A non-love story that is told in an incredibly unconventional form, My Face is a story that shouldn’t be touching, but somehow it is. In the midst of all of its wackiness, there is a heart and truthful expression that few independent shorts ever actually attain. So, spoiler alert, I liked the film quite a bit.

Our story focuses on a couple who accidentally meet while sharing opposite bathroom stalls. The male counterpart is a very sweet guy, and our female lead feels that they share an immediate chemistry, but there is a problem. She doesn’t find him attractive. At all. It isn’t that he’s ugly, but whatever it is, she doesn’t find him attractive. When one of our leading man’s coworkers informs him of a weird game that he once played with his wife, he believes that he may have this situation fixed. He will have a latex mask developed that shares similarities with three of our leading lady’s ex-boyfriends, but he will also incorporate some of his own features into the mask. Then, when these two make love, he will simply wear the mask and eventually she will fall in love with him for who he is. Unfortunately, this probably won’t turn out to be the case.

Reading that plot synopsis, I realize that the subtext isn’t very hard to read into. A man who wears a mask in order to gain the affection of a female, there’s an obvious distinction to be made between literal and figurative “masks” within any relationship. And ultimately, yes, this is a movie about rejection and the importance of being honest with yourself, but the way in which these filmmakers deliver their ideas is admirable. Few times within the short are we harangued or beaten over the head with the subtext, but instead the focus is kept on our characters and their performances. By doing this the product is lifted up in all regards, and it doesn’t hurt that our two leads are exceptionally talented.

Although audiences may not wholly expect it from this sort of story, the short does reach into some very real areas. Most of us have felt a rejection that feels somewhat like the one that our lead has to go through, and although his case may be a bit more severe, it’s easy for an audience member to slip right into the role. As we all must discover, the people who want to change us aren’t truly the people that we should be searching out. It’s a hard thing to face, but inevitably it’s a dawning realization that most adults have to come to. My Face is definitely recommended if you have the opportunity to check it out. If you’d like to read more about the film, you can find the official Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/MyFacetheShortFilm