Delicious Ambiguity by Justin Canel

A woman reunites a group of old friends for an engagement party dinner where perfect chaos ensues.

Lauren is in love. But her feelings are a secret, even to her closest friends. But when she throws a party celebrating the engagement of her friends Ryan and Ashley, things start off convivial and friendly — until the guests of honor arrive and all hell breaks loose.

Like many social comedies revolving around romance and relationships, this short revolves around a discrete event, captured in loose, cinema verite-style camerawork and warm natural lighting. But its compact narrative sparkles with plenty of witty banter that feels like the loose, hilarious profane conversations people really do have at lively dinner parties.

The performances all hit the comedic notes with aplomb, but stay true to the emotional truth of each character, whether it’s someone trying to grin and bear an uncomfortable situation or someone struggling with simmering resentment at a long-term partner that is just waiting to come out.

The clever dialogue is laid over a group of emotional arcs that feels truthful to each character. “Delicious Ambiguity” — which gets its name from a quote from legendary comedienne Gilda Radner — ably juggles multiple stories among its tableaux of couples and friends, capturing both the shifts in a group dynamic as well as individual revelations. The film is a enjoyably raucous, tumultuous ride through sex, love, romance, truth, deception and finally honesty — in short, the “delicious ambiguity” of human relations, in all its agony and ecstasy.

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