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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A Real Good Time!
by Betty Jo Tucker

Couch Surfer, writer/director Andrew Lawton’s third short film, is a hoot. Lawton knows how to pack so much into less than a half hour of screen time! Plus, he does drama and comedy equally well. Wake proved Lawton’s dramatic sensitivity with a poignant offering about a young boy’s grief over losing his brother. Have You Seen Calvin? revealed his ability to handle outrageous comedy. And now with Couch Surfer, Lawton taps into his humorous side again with a frisky tale about a woman’s dilemma when Aussie party animals invade her home.

          

A comedy absurd and rare,

"Couch Surfer" boasts a funny flair.

This short film made me laugh and cry

at Julia’s plight caused by a guy

who crashes on her living room couch

and brings his pals to party – ouch!

Aussies all, they love their beer.

But Julia then begins to fear.

Her fiancé will soon be home.

How can she get these guys to roam

and leave her place ASAP

So she can meet her destiny?

Julia, played by Tali Custer,

gets great praise, which I can muster.

Andrew Lawton directs and writes.

His comedy skills hit new heights.

"Couch Surfer" offers a good time.

So missing it would be a crime.

 

Filmmaker Lawton also appears in Couch Surfer, and this is the first time I’ve seen him act. He plays Stevo, the first Aussie to take over Julia’s couch and apartment. I’m happy to report that Lawton makes Stevo such a cheerful, appealing character that it would be hard to turn him down at the beginning. “I was a backpacker when I first came to the US way back in 1999, “ Lawton explains. “And this breed of Aussie is a very real thing! They travel for years on end with little to no money and if you make the mistake of letting them sleep on your couch for 'a coupla nights', they'll never ever leave!!  You've been warned!”

Clearly, someone should have warned Julia (Custer), for the Aussies depicted in Couch Surfer (Lawton, Peter James and Dan Stagliano) make her life miserable during their raucous stay in her apartment. Of course, she does join in the fun -- but regrets it later. To the rescue come her New Zealander boss (James C. Stewart) and an Irish priest (Kevin Gilmartin) -- with hilarious results. As a last resort, Julia decides to involve a nosey neighbor (the amusing Katie Sah). Will her deceitful plan work -- or will Julia be stuck with these Aussie party animals forever?

This 18 minutes goes by so fast! As with Lawton’s two other short films, you will be amazed and pleased by how much entertainment happens on screen in such a limited time.           

(Released by Kinetic Studios; not rated by MPAA.)

For more information, go to the IMDb web site.


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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