DCIFF Review: Benjamin Meyer’s ‘Fools’, Starring Mary Cross and Michael Szeles

2

In a world enveloped in constant connections via social media, it’s become even harder to make meaningful connections with people in the physical world. “Fools” explores the connection between two people in the real world, but one based on false pretenses. And so when Susan (Mary Cross) and Sam (Michael Szeles) brush hands with each other on the train, there’s an immediate infatuation between the two. And when Susan moves in with Sam, the two of them feed each other stories and sets their relationship on a destructive, and delusional, path of disillusionment and lies.

Director and writer Benjamin Meyer depicts the tumultuous relationship between two people who are individually suffering from their own issues, from abandonment to anxiety and more. Separately, they’re unstable. Together, they’re not any better. The most intriguing concept that the film begins to explore is Susan’s need for lies, especially after we all learn the true nature of her background, which only serves to confuse rather than to justify exactly why she is the way she is.

“Fools” has the potential to be a dark comedy, but it most certainly comes across as more dark and less comedy. There isn’t anything in the film that’s inherently funny and the characters are so far down the rabbit hole that it proves difficult to connect with them on a substantial level. While the interactions between Susan and Sam are cause for study, if only because the pair are so innately strange and issue-ridden, but their pathological need for lies and fabricating their own relationship can be a hard pill to swallow.

The film has something to see about the need to live in a world of lies in order to avoid the harsh truth of reality, there’s a cause for concern in that the characters themselves are too far removed from their reality for us to be properly immersed in it. “Fools” attempts to go the happy ending route in its finale, but by the time truths are told, it all feels a little bit too late for any closure or explanation. Benjamin Meyer has the right idea, but “Fools” isn’t dynamic enough to portray all its various themes in a way that strikes a chord with the audience.

50%
50%
Underwhelming

Director and writer Benjamin Meyer has the right idea, but "Fools" isn't dynamic enough to portray all its various themes in a way that strikes a chord with the audience.

2.5star

Share.

About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

2 Comments

  1. While FOOLS may not be for everyone, it was dynamic enough for the audiences who gave it Audience Awards at Dances With Films and the Beloit International Film Festivals, not to mention the jury who gave it a Special Jury Commendation at the Durango Independent Film Festival, and the folks who have selected it for fourteen festivals across the USA and in the UK.

    Which is all to say that I hope people will look past this one reviewer’s particular tastes and come see the film Sunday at 5:50 PM at the DC Independent Film Festival!

Leave A Reply