Short Film: New Guy in Town


What do you do when you meet a new colleague? Or a business client? Or a new neighbor? You smile, and most likely, you shake hands.

It seems a natural gesture to many, but different groups and cultures have their own customs. And in the case of writer/director James Ricardo’s short film “New Guy in Town,” a particularly unusual custom proves jarring for the titular “new guy.”

The unnamed protagonist (J.C. Macek III) arrives in a new suburban town, excited to begin a new job. But he’s thrown off when he meets one of the his new neighbors for the first time and is greeted with an unwelcome hello — instead of shaking hands, his neighbor welcomes him with a friendly crotch-grab.

The new guy is taken aback by this gesture at first, but he soon discovers it’s not just one forward neighbor – all of the town’s residents practice the uncomfortable greeting. Can he adapt to the strange custom, or will he vacate the neighborhood as quickly as he arrived?

“New Guy in Town” is an amusing take on an uncomfortable situation, a moment when you know you don’t fit in and aren’t sure how to respond. It’s a funny little film, and it’s impossible not to laugh at the awkwardness of the protagonist’s predicament. The film is a brief five and a half minutes, though the length is plenty of time for the joke to run its course. Any longer and it could feel stale, but as it stands, it’s humorous and attention-grabbing.

In addition to its entertainment factor, the movie got me thinking about the everyday rituals we experience, and about how others with vastly different customs might perceive them.

Check out “New Guy in Town” below.

New Guy In Town from James Ricardo on Vimeo.

What do you think? Could you adapt to the neighborhood’s signature greeting? Or would you move away in hopes of finding a community with a more comfortable tradition? Sound off in the comments section.

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