Film review: Ben’s at Home

Part of a series of reviews for films from the 2016 Kamloops Film Festival

kff-article-logoBensAtHomeBen’s at Home is only a 70-minute-long film, yet it feels like a full-length movie. It goes through all the plot points you’d expect of a typical cynical love story: boy is hurt, boy meets new girl, boy makes poor choices, boy loses friends and girl, boy eventually makes up with everyone, boy gets girl. So now you know the entire film and I don’t really need to continue this review!

Dan Abramovici plays Ben, an average guy who realizes he doesn’t actually like partying. After a breakup, he makes the decision to never leave his house again. Since he already has a career as a movie reviewer, Ben is able to work easily from home. He orders all his groceries online and has these and many other material objects delivered to his house.

When Ben decides he’s ready to start seeing other people again, he tries online dating. This leads to some successful and some not-so-successful dates. Of course, Ben doesn’t actually “go” on any dates; all these girls come to him in his house. Ben eventually falls for the delivery girl, and they begin a romance that is as awkward as it is fleeting. Because of course, a protagonist like Ben inevitably screws things up.

Predictably, Ben’s friends are not happy with the life choice their friend has made, and there are a few attempts to get him to leave the house. Ben’s friends are the best part of this film, because their relationships are what pull the movie away from being just another cheesy rom com and let it instead focus on the importance of friendship.

Ben’s at Home is very relatable because who hasn’t, at some point in their life, wanted to live the dream of never leaving the house? The film doesn’t make this out to be an incredibly good or bad choice, it’s just a choice, one made by a thirty-year-old trying to find himself in the one little way he knows how.

When the time comes for Ben to decide to either leave the house and go to his friend’s wedding or risk losing his friends altogether, the decision is made painlessly. It’s as though he just needed a little breathing time before he was ready to dive back into life again.

The theme of this film is that we all want to pause life sometimes, and in whichever this pause manifests itself, it is important to always eventually come back to reality. It’s okay to take some time off when needed, just remember you have friends who need you, and that you need your friends.