Eye For Film >> Movies >> Daddy Issues (2023) Film Review
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
The thing about fantasy is that it’s supposed to stay separate from reality. When we act it out, we imagine that we’re doing so in a separate world – but if you’re one of those people whose niche interests mean that dating sites keep trying to match you up with your exes, you’ll appreciate that the world is actually pretty small and kinky encounters are just as prone to complications as any other kind.
Matt Campanella and Stephanie Chloé Hepner’s short comedy Daddy Issues, which is screening as part of Tribeca 2023, features a particularly awkward encounter in circumstances which all the more difficult because the young dominant involved in the scene is on probation in a new job, trying hard to impress the boss. He’s spent a long time getting ready, making sure that his appearance is perfect, and it’s really just bad luck that things turn out as they do. Bad luck or, perhaps, a lack of communication, as the film makes playful reference to the kind of small talk which takes places in lieu of meaningful connection in other contexts.
On the surface, this is a comedy of manners taken to extremes. Underneath is a layer of questions about intimacy and why some people feel the need to seek out strangers so that they can be themselves. The film leaves us on that difficult and unknowable path back toward normal interaction after a period of intimacy is over and the intensity of the moment has given way to a longing to forget.
One note of caution: whilst the film is reasonably accurate in its depiction of the activities of a professional dungeon, it features whipping on the frontal lower abdomen. Don’t try this at home. If there’s any force behind it, even accidentally, it can lead to serious injuries which may not be immediately apparent. There are plenty of other places to whip which produce as much or more pain or pleasure without the risk.
Whether or not these characters will get over the other painful aspects of their encounter is anyone’s guess. One hopes that when/if the embarrassment fades, they might discover the pleasure of having more in common than they previously thought.Reviewed on: 10 Jun 2023