Rachel From New York

By Jeanne Jo | Comedy
A woman goes on a date with a guy 'outside her type'. But she's not racist...

Launched by "Bridesmaids" director Paul Feig, Powderkeg: Fuse is a talent incubator program that highlights emerging female film directors. Omeleto is proud to share its diverse slate of shorts for this year -- as part of its inaugural Fuse Directing Program -- which is inspired by the vibrant communities of Los Angeles and united by a comedic sensibility that can range from bawdy to caustic to offbeat, but is always emotionally grounded.

Rachel lives in Los Angeles, and is a recent transplant from the East Coast, starting anew as she deals with a difficult breakup. Despite her new California lifestyle of juicing and jogging, she clearly hasn't gotten over her ex and unable to embrace the laidback nature of her new home.

After a fraught conversation, she decides to go on a date with a guy "outside her type." But the date -- a Black man who's an entrepreneur -- goes off the rails, revealing just how out of place Rachel really is.

Writer-director Jeanne Jo, along with co-writer Keenan Coogler, has crafted a clever, gloriously awkward comedy short that combines wit and social observation, examining how tricky social issues can seep into everyday personal interaction -- and just how crazy first dates can be.

It's an acidic take on the typical romantic comedy, built on a foundation of intelligent writing with an eye and ear for self-delusion. Essentially a set-up leading into a classic two-hander, the revelation of story and character happens primarily through dialogue, which here is sharp and smart, but most importantly true to character.

Taking place in Los Angeles, the film establishes anxious, edgy Rachel in the sunlit environs and lush greenery of Los Angeles. She's a fish out of water, and she's about to realize just how out of her element she really is, especially when she meets her date, a relaxed, affably confident Black man.

Both main actors -- Scout Durwood as Rachel and Walter Fauntleroy as her date -- have a nice back-and-forth that reveals potential chemistry between the pair. The masterful dialogue handles the subject of race in a way that feels both funny and true, as Rachel goes out of her way to avoid it, and avoid seeming racist.

Yet Rachel keeps stepping into tricky waters with various gaffes, many of which threaten to derail the date. But in the ironies of all ironies, a telling anecdote reveals just how neurotic Rachel is -- and proves crazy is crazy, no matter what your identity.

"Rachel From New York" feels very much like a snapshot of one woman's dating life, overlaid with a filter that punches up the brights with heightened dialogue but throws her flaws and contradiction into a high-contrast spotlight. Entertaining, light and spiky all at once, it ends with just a sliver of hope for Rachel -- and a knowing laugh for the audience, who will have no illusions about Rachel's future misadventures.

You Might Also Like:


By Oliver Goodrum | Drama
A man who bullied a disabled girl tries to escape his past. Then an angry mob finds him.


By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.


By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.


By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...


By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.


By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I'm Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.