Director Nathan Morris’ “My Eyes Are Up Here” is the kind of romantic comedy film that you don’t see often in the mainstream. It’s a short that I really wanted more of, because his short, clocking in at fourteen minutes, feels like the prologue to a very funny, and quite sweet tale of two people who find destiny after a drunken night in bed. “My Eyes Are Up Here” is a very sweet and entertaining slice of life that works toward subverting and breaking a lot of preconceived notions about the disabled.
A broken condom forces a woman — and her one-night stand — on a mission to the chemist for the morning after pill. Except it’s not so simple because she’s disabled, and a woman of colour. Their trip becomes an eye-opening odyssey, as her visible disabilities magically transform people into assholes, and places into obstacles. But there’s something truly special about the way she approaches the world – so he’s happy to tag along for the ride.
When we first meet character Sonia, she’s a beautiful woman who awakens after a one night stand. We soon learn she’s wheelchair bound. This doesn’t hamper her independence though, as she spends a lot of her time trying to shed her one night fling Phil. He’s however intent on accompanying her and charming her in a way she’s not quite prepared for. “My Eyes Are Up Here” is a very good peek inside the life of the physically disabled, and how they approach life. It’s also a very good break from the clichés of the romantic comedy, offering a more contemporary and realistic glimpse at a potentially budding romance.
Co-stars Jillian Mercado and Colin Hoult are very good in their respective roles, offering turns as two infinitely likable and affable individuals. Phil is a shockingly easy going man who sees right through Sonia’s disability more than a lot of other people, and it amounts to some sweet and tender moments. This includes a scene where he builds a make shift ramp for her, and the final scene where he fetches her coffee. I would love to see a feature film version of “My Eyes are Up Here” as I would love to get to know this pair much better. I think it could be as charming and satisfying as this was.
You can catch “My Eyes Are Here” at PAFF, LA on February 14th, 6.05pm & February 15th, 1.00pm; Busting the Bias in London in March; The Vancouver International Women’s Film Festival TBD; In the Palace in Bulgaria in April TBD.