I’m a sucker for the indie rom-com. They’re typically easy to watch, they are completely nonsensical and don’t take themselves too seriously. They usually involve people with some form of issue, oblivious to how suitable they are for the other person with the same issue. Along the way we see them get up to all sorts trying to find themselves, resulting in situations that are far beyond the realm of possibility, playing to the absurdist traits of the sitcoms and sketch shows the cast are typically from.
Anne and Jeff fill those roles perfectly in Slow Learners. Anne (Sarah Burns) is the book-worm unable to act cool in-front of men, and Jeff (Adam Pally) is the college counselor with the malleable face unable to shake the dorky exterior, both working at the same high-school, they bond over their hopelessness. They focus on becoming more obnoxious, wilder and confident versions of themselves over the summer holidays in bid at finding happiness, and the result is a set of predictable but funny consequences.
This might not be the shrewdest comedy, but the improv styled dialogue and silly actions of all involved make this one of the more likable comedies churned out with the Sundance vibe. The best thing about these films is that nobody takes themselves too seriously, it looks like they are having fun and for that reason we end up having more fun too. It’s just a bonus if we end up rooting for the characters, and find any deep message in amongst the nonsense above and beyond “just be yourself” or a lesson in how looks aren’t everything.
Slow Learners delivers as a consistent little rom-com, packed with some funny scenes, solid performances and a familiar story. You know what you’re getting into when you stick one of these on.