Set in a post-pandemic life, After a Date With Anxiety is a charming film about two people who go on a first date, and then grapple with their anxiety about what the future holds for them. In fact, their anxiety takes on human form and becomes a relevant part of the couple sorting out their feelings for one another. It’s an interesting concept that Writer/Director Adam Smith has pulled into a seemingly simple story about modern dating.
One half of the couple is the ever romantic and hopeful Ben (Michael Reitano) who recounts the events of the date with his only friend Kyle (Connor Vannatta), who he works with at a car dealership. Ben claims that the girl on the date is “the one” and Kyle subsequently asks Ben to recount the date, where Ben slightly fumbles in his recollection. Ben’s Anxiety appears here and there, a dark shadow casting doubt to Ben’s positive attitude that he’s found the love of his life. Reitano plays Ben with an underplayed humor and it works nicely to bring out his subtle vulnerability.
On the other side of the story is Mindy (Ally Wukitsch) who is actively having a therapy session with her anxiety. Even though Mindy’s anxiety isn’t a licensed therapist, Mindy is also forced to recall the events of the date and sort out her feelings. However, it is much different for Mindy as she is more skeptical and wary of Ben. Her Anxiety prods her to get to the heart of why Mindy wasn’t into Ben. She didn’t like the place he chose for dinner and he smelled weird. But there is more. Without giving away the end, Mindy comes to the realization why she didn’t click with Ben. Wukitsch plays Mindy very naturally as she goes through the stages of her revelations.
Elevating the film’s comedy is the excellent original music by Ethan Brown. It kicks off the film in an urban and modern way, then hits musically on all the right comedic spots. The film also has a lot of fun switching between the stories told by Ben and Mindy through quickly edited cuts by Director of Cinematography and Editor, Darrian Tyra.
After a Date With Anxiety is a fun, modern take on dating in today’s world, and even though the audio makes it hard to hear at times, it’s lightheartedness and humor make the film charming.