Rom-com shorts have taken a recent lean towards realism — from viral hits like Relationship in 5 Minutes to Commentary on Running into an Ex. For a landscape typically filled with well-deep subtexts and carefully coiffed language, it’s been refreshing to catch comedic takes on what’s really boiling underneath the surface of complicated romantic relationships.
That’s where writer and comedian Alison Griffin Vingiano’s new short “Exes” comes into play. Inspired by her own run-in with an ex at a mutual friend’s book reading, Vingiano realized that what’s truly interesting in conversations with an ex is what isn’t being said.
In this short, every thought the separated couple has conveniently (and hilariously) comes equipped with subtitles that decode the fraught dialogue. Vingiano told us that the experience, “made me realize how insignificant language can be, and how much of what we were actually saying to each other was BS.” Unlike her own relationship with her ex (which has become an affable friendship, she promises), Vingiano was interested in the unique space an ex can take up in our lives — a space where “you look nice” could or could not mean “I want to sleep with you.” “I wanted them to be in that strange grey-zone where it’s unclear if it’s really over,” Vingiano adds.
The charming short is directed by T.J. Misny, who has directed episodes of Broad City and the web-series “Little Horribles,” and who shot and directed the viral video “Why Starbucks Spells Your Name Wrong.” Watch it below.