It’s a period that everyone has gone through, or will go through, at some point in their lives. That time of transition when you’re no longer a student, you’re trying to navigate through the real world, but you’re not entirely sure where your life is headed. It’s an awkward, disconcerting time that writer/director Matt Jay captures with beautiful subtlety in the short film “Any Day Now,” a short film that has been making its way through the film festival circuit at NewFilmmakers in New York and the Salem Film Festival in Oregon.
Twenty-three-year-old Sam (Samantha Strelitz) is an aspiring model who moves from Albany to New York City to launch her career. As she moves into a new apartment, adjusts to life in an overwhelming city and tries to break into the modeling world, Sam’s unease is evident.
Holding her back is her ongoing affair with married politician George (Ron Nummi), a relationship she continues despite the obvious interest of her neighbor Jimmy (Ryan O’Callaghan). Like Sam, Jimmy is a 20-something starting a new life and pursuing his own dreams of becoming an illustrator for the New Yorker. George’s career advances as Sam struggles to begin hers, and the viability of their relationship in Sam’s strange new world is uncertain.
“Any Day Now” is a thoughtful, quiet examination of the start of this new chapter in Sam’s life. Jay captures a world that feels completely natural, one that as someone going through the same period of quarterlife transition, I can relate to all too well. “Any Day Now” is the type of story that could easily become an overdone “quarterlife crisis” movie, riddled with dramatic plot developments, heated confrontations and nervous breakdowns. But Jay understands that the real struggle during this pivotal time in life is internal. It’s about striving to adjust to an unfamiliar world and finding your place in it. It’s about wondering what to do and where to go from there. Jay is able to capture those questions and emotions through the subtlety of his storytelling, and the film’s success can in large part be attributed to that.
The film’s actors also shine, particularly Strelitz. The strength of her performance isn’t rooted in what she says as much as what she doesn’t say. From her chipped fingernail polish to her small nervous quirks, she’s a person who clearly hasn’t yet found her stride. She’s very likable, as seen in her eagerness for her first modeling interview. But the scenes in which she’s the strongest are when she’s eating in her apartment, walking down the street, reacting to her surroundings. In her eyes is a nervousness and uncertainty that anyone who’s gone through a similar quarterlife transition can relate to.
Another particularly effective sequence follows Sam as she returns home to Albany to visit her family for the weekend. We get to see the funny, easygoing Sam who is so comfortable at home but who hasn’t quite come out of her shell in New York City. And her mother, Diane (Victoria Bundonis), also leaves her with an important reminder.
Yes, her new journey is scary. But it also may turn out to be one of the most exciting times in her life.v
. . .
Follow Alexa Milan on Twitter at http://twitter.com/alexamilan.
And don’t forget to “Like” It’s Just Movies on Facebook at