Dasha Nekrasova in Sunday Girl (Photo: Subliminal Films)
★★½ (out of four)
DIRECTED BY Peter Ambrosio
STARS Dasha Nekrasova, Morgan Roberts
The deadpan demeanor and air of insouciance that Red Scare podcaster Dasha Nekrasova employed (half intentionally, half unaware) to destroy a couple of InfoWars airheads at SXSW are in full bloom in Sunday Girl, a quirky indie effort about a young woman trying to orchestrate four breakups in one day.
Natasha (Nekrasova) is presently juggling five boyfriends, and she wants to get rid of all but one. So in the course of 24 hours, she visits the quartet of guys, informing them individually that she’s dumping them. There’s no malice in her actions — it’s just something she needs to do. The sensitive Victor (Bilal Mir) is heartbroken and writes poems to her. The macho Jack (Dave Davis) gets angry and shouts a lot. The happy-go-lucky Tom (Evan Holtzman) just shrugs and … well, I won’t ruin this scene, but it’s an amusing bit. And Winston (Morgan Roberts), the most fleshed out of the males, runs through various emotions. As for the one she wants to keep? That would be George (Brandon Stacy), who is painted as such a dreary individual that it’s either a dash of irony or a bout of sloppy scripting that he’s the one she won’t let get away.
Written and directed by Peter Ambrosio, Sunday Girl is the sort of picture that’s routinely described as a promising early effort from a burgeoning filmmaker. The movie gets off on the wrong foot with the Victor interlude — it’s overwritten and artificial, feeling about as authentic as a subpar sitcom that requires a laugh track to survive — but matters improve with the introductions of the other fellows.
Ambrosio is more comfortable with creating dialogue than with setting up scenes, and he’s gifted with an apt leading lady in Nekrasova. Her performance is a model of understatement, and she provides the picture with an appreciable lift.
(Sunday Girl opens in limited release this Friday, November 8.)