Indie romantic comedies, just like any indie film made today, really needs to stand out. That is why writer Chris Lee Hill and director Tom Morris set out to make a High Stakes Rom-Com.
On January 13th, 2018, the state of Hawaii was sent into a panic when an emergency alert went out to everybody’s cellphones and TV’s stating A Ballistic Missile was inbound. This false alarm helped inspire Blowing Up Right Now.
The movie centers on a couple living together in Los Angeles, Mandy, played by Sujata Day (“Nesting”) who is rehearsing her break up with Shep, portrayed by Danny Jolles (“Crazy Ed-Girlfriend (TV)”).
The only problem is a minute after Mandy breaks up with Shep, a different bombshell is dropped, one of global proportions. An alert pops up on their phones:
BALLISTIC MISSILE INBOUND FOR LOS ANGELES. EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
So now this couple is stuck at home with each other, at the most disastrous point in their relationship. I felt this was a strong premise as soon as I first heard it. I’m sure everyone else I was standing in line with to see this movie at the Dances With Films Fest felt the same way.
I have always been a fan of high concept Rom-Coms, like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Timer and The One I love. So I was happy to adorn my press badge and wait eagerly to claim my seat.
Blowing Up Right Now has some flashes of comedic brilliance, such as three interesting montages and one of the funniest fight sequences I have ever seen on screen.
There was a cleaver foreshadowing to this nuclear threat before the alert went out, it was one of those things you have to pay attention for or you’ll miss it.
In hindsight, a closer comparison to this movie would be Two Night Stand, Stuck (which I reviewed here) or the mumble core style “Love” TV series.
Sujata Day and Danny Jolles give honest and natural performances as this modern couple on the rocks. Danny’s stand up comedy background was probably put to good use here.
But then the second half of this movie happened. I will not spoil it by giving details, but several moments in this story felt false. One part in particular I know a female would NEVER be able to forgive a boyfriend for, nor would Mandy react the way she did.
Overall, Blowing Up Right Now delivers the laughs from start to finish. It has an original premise, but it follows the Rom-Com format past the point of believability.
Blowing Up Right Now had its world premiere at the Dances With Films Fest on June 15th, 2019. So time will tell what type of release it will have.
My hope is you get a chance to see this movie, so you can compare it with your tastes. If you are a young couple in the world today, you should give this explosive Rom-Com a chance.