Many short films tend to be comedy-oriented but not all of them are funny. An exception is “Lemon,” which was shown as part of shorts program at the last Tribeca Festival. In the twelve minutes that make up its length I found myself laughing more often than I do during some feature-length films.
Written and directed by Timothy Michael Cooper (“Concierge: The Series”) “Lemon” provide a breath of fresh air from many of the more artsy message-bearing shorts seen at festivals. The plot does just what it’s supposed to do…make you laugh. The film begins moments after a wedding, after the groom begins confessing to his bride that he is not exactly who he appears to be. But then he learns that the bride has a few secrets of her own.
This comedy of verbal escalation is fast-paced. At times, the dialogue uses the joke-delay style (famously used by stand-up comedienne Wendy Liebman) in which you never know when a sentence ends and therefore what’s coming next. Special credit should be given to actors Jennifer Westfeldt and Noah Bean who not only deliver their lines with the right amount of straight-faced timing, but react to them with the right amount of hilarious expression. Guiding the pace on set, and no doubt in the editing room, is Cooper’s quick sense of witty structure.
Producer Surina Jindal who I caught up with at Tribeca told me, “I truly enjoyed making ‘Lemon.’ The process has been a blast from the beginning mainly because every call or interaction with my co-producer Simon Taufique and our writer/director Timothy Michael Cooper has always ended in laughter, which bodes well when producing a comedy.” She went on, “it felt amazing to be accepted into a festival on our home turf that brings together such a high-caliber of creative talent. Sitting in a theatre hearing New York audiences laugh at our film was truly magical.”