It amused me no end to tell people the other day that I’d seen a film called Something, Anything that was about nothing. That’s not strictly true, but many viewers may end up feeling that way.
Ashley Shelton stars as a woman named Margaret, who also sometimes goes by the name of Peggy (it all depends on how positive and energetic she’s feeling). Let’s just call her Meggy, to save confusion. Meggy is, understandably, very upset when she has a miscarriage. This happens within the first few scenes of the film and serves as the impetus for Meggy for the rest of the movie. Feeling at a loss, and feeling distant from her partner (Mark, played by Bryce Johnson), she decides to make a number of changes to her life.
Written and directed by Paul Harrill, this is the kind of film that makes you work hard when writing a review. The script is sparse, the camerawork is unfussy and simply moves where it needs to be, depending on whether the mood is invasive or not, and the performances are all very low-key.
Nobody really shines among the cast members, with Shelton suffering in the main role, due to the disaffected manner of her character throughout most of the movie. Johnson is given even less to do, he’s onscreen for about 5 minutes in total, and Linds Edwards comes into the the whole thing a bit too late in the proceedings to make any decent impression.
Yet, despite any misgivings about the movie being a whole lot of nothing, there is a point to the whole thing, and it’s an admirable one. The movie seems to be looking at people who feel an emptiness in their lives, and then decide to fill it with the first, most convenient, solution they stumble across. A very lucky few can make that work, but for so many others it can be a grave error. Something, Anything advises against it, laying out everything in an understated (some might say TOO understated) way that makes it, perhaps, a better film to think about once you’ve stopped watching it, as opposed to a film that you actually enjoy while it’s on.
Not one that I’d actually recommend, but it’s actually not as bad as it seems. Although I can’t imagine anyone every seeking it out.
WRITER/DIRECTOR: PAUL HARRILL
STARS: ASHLEY SHELTON, BRYCE JOHNSON, LINDS EDWARDS
RUNTIME: 88 MINS APPROX