Cabbie (2009) (2nd Cut)

Back in 2007, director Donlee Brussel submitted a film to our website called “Cabbie.” It was a short comedy about a cabbie played by Steve Gelder who approaches his job with passion and a stiff tongue in cheek attitude. The movie was less than watchable up viewing the short. Two years later, Donlee Brussel has taken his original twenty minute short comedy and reduced it to fourteen minutes with a heavily edited final product that has a more definite and even tone as opposed to the last cut that needed some drastic work on the comedic atmosphere and storytelling. Was this second chance worth it from Brussel? Honestly no.

The same caveats that plagued the original cut are still pretty much evident here. The script seems to be working hard at depicting this aspiring Cab Driver as someone who is inept but is more certain about his dreams than most other people. The problem with that being is his comedic one liners fall flat (for example: the shooting presidents rant) yet again because his portrayal is uneven. Are we supposed to pity this man whose dream job isn’t exactly something an average American would want to do, or are we supposed to laugh at him because he can’t aim higher in his life goals?

In between the interview questions actor Steve Gelder gives it his best to provide this image as an American schlub doomed to working as a cab driver all his life, but there’s just so little going on with the one joke premise that it can’t even fill in the fourteen minutes. While it does cut some of the extra fat, the resolution is the same: “Cabbie” works with good comedic intentions but never quite decides what genre it is as a short film. Though it’s thankfully shorter than the earlier version of what I saw in 2007, “Cabbie” is still a genre confused short film that has no real laughs in its favor and not a lot of reasons to care for its title character. In the end it’s still a pretty flat experience.