The Nymphets (2015)

SXSW 2015 FILM FESTIVAL

nymphets

After being denied entry to a bar and having their I.D.’s withheld by the bouncer, Brittany (Annabelle Dexter-Jones) and Allyson (Jordan Lane Price) run into Joe (Kip Pardue), an older man who manages to get their I.D.’s back. Naturally, they want to party and convince Joe that they should all go back to his place for some fun. They flirt, tease, drink, and offer Joe advice on his cheating girlfriend. Then feelings and power come into play and the night takes a turn for the wild and unexpected.

Brittany and Allyson tease Joe.
Brittany and Allyson tease Joe.

The Nymphets is all about the struggle for power between the young and old, the wild and the restless, and man and women. Full of many societal reflections, the film provides an honest approach to its characters and their ever-changing ways as the night goes on. There are many allusions to the Nymph’s of Greek Mythology and their stunning beauty which lures men in, but we’re also seeing a masochistic man fight off the sweet songs which he knows will mean the end of something in his life. By the film and evening’s end, you’ll know more about yourself and the characters.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to sit down with Director Gary Gardner and part of the cast and we discussed what this film is really about and how it will affect its audience. The film really is quite honest with its exploration of innocent flirting which could lead to manipulation and even some domination on both ends. We see the power shift from the lovely (and sometimes obnoxious) young ladies to the older and more “up-tight” man and that snowballs the rest of the human emotions that follow. Making that leap to one big decision is going to define these people in their own eyes and the eye’s of everyone involved. We need to be cautious with the choices that we make, but we must also realize that there is no right decision. Gardner effectively communicates this in 75 minutes and draws the audience in to discover themselves as they observe the nuances of each characters decisions.

Director Gary Garden has a beard that could rival the likes of Zeus.
Director Gary Garden has a beard that could rival the likes of Zeus.

Kip Pardue’s portrayal of Joe is one of the more crucial elements of the film, as we find ourselves judging his character, yet also relating to his frustrations. Pardue goes to great lengths to get into bed with one of the girls, but their teasing grows old and is something he doesn’t have time for. He brings realistic reactions into the film and makes it very simple to understand his character. He’s totally right for being frustrated when the girls play games with him, but he also makes some questionable choices when it comes to how he handles gaining back the power they stole. More than that, Pardue embodies anyone who has gone to great lengths to acquire anything, as well as anyone who has ever grown tired of manipulation and humiliation.

Jones and Price may seem very similar in the beginning, but time and distance away from one another brings forth their true independent character in front of Pardue. When she’s not taking pills to get high and influencing Pardue to screw things up with his girlfriend, Jones reveals a softer side to her free-spirited attitude and says more with her eyes than she does throughout the whole film. The spark she finds with Pardue is meaningful, but she finds herself conflicted because she knows that Price is falling for him. That internal conflict ultimately distances her from Pardue, making way for Jones and her naive nature to get closer with him. Jones inexperience ultimately controls her actions, but the beast known as curiosity continuously compels her to get closer to Pardue. They’re both still huge teases, but there’s justifiable reason that they both act that way.

How could you not swoon over these sirens?
How could you not swoon over these sirens?

The Nymphets works incredibly well if you’re truly honest with yourself and the people with whom you surround yourself. It’s always uncomfortable when you relate to certain aspects of life that aren’t all that great, but people make mistakes and those moments don’t define us. They certainly do stick with us, however, and that’s part of the point that Gardner was trying to get across. In 75 minutes, barely longer than an episode of True Detective (since we’re discussing part of the human condition), Garland and his exceptional cast say and do all that they need to make this film more than worth the watch. This film may not appeal to everyone and your own insecurities will definitely surface, but this film is a short and sweet treat you deserve.

The Nymphets Trailer

4 STARS!!!

4 / 5 stars     

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