Waffle (2020) dir. Carlyn Hudson
Someday “please remember to give me a good review” will replace “smell you later” as the proper way to end a social interaction.
It’s been often observed that there’s a thin line between horror and comedy, and that line is named Discomfort. “Waffle” blends the unease of awkward social graces with misgivings about the income gap and the gig economy and spins a little of each genre out. Leaning on the first part makes this short a step above many shorts manufacturing commentaries on the latter two items.
To its credit, the short doesn’t get too high-minded about this, leaning on the performances of the leads (Kerry Barker and Katie Marovitch). Like a good Phillip K. Dick story or Black Mirror episode, “Waffle” has a spine of recognizable emotion and flesh of exaggerated modern tendencies. You give me a ride, I pay you. You request my friendship on facebook and I reciprocate. When more and more interactions with other people are transactions and the line between work and leisure hours blurs, it’s a shorter drive between social obligations and financial ones.