Perfectly Good Moment | Film Threat

Apr 23, 2023

Relationships contain moments we often will remember forever. These are the moments we treasure. However, what happens when these good moments are not always what they seem? Screenwriters Amanda Jane Stern and Julian Seltzer and director Lauren Greenhall explore this theme in their feature debut, Perfectly Good Moment.
This psychosexual thriller opens at a networking event where businessman David (Stephen Carlile) meets Ruby (Amanda Jane Stern), a young woman working with a tech company. Despite their age difference (David is 34 and Ruby is 19), they begin an on-and-off again relationship over the next eight years. During those eight years, they both come to realizations about one another. David is someone who lives for the perfect moments in a relationship. When those moments are disrupted, he goes into a rage. For example, despite Ruby’s reservations, David plans where and when they will get married. He also has planned out when and how many children they will have. Again, she protests this, much to David’s dismay.
On the other hand, Ruby is quiet and does not always speak her mind out of fear of upsetting David. Although, the tables turn during their reunion. Ruby has plans that will make David see the kind of person he is. Ultimately, the question becomes if David is controlling or if Ruby has a false picture of him.

“David meets Ruby…they begin an on-and-off again relationship over the next eight years.”
Perfectly Good Moment is a very well-crafted thriller that is tightly constructed in its editing and beautifully shot. The picture predominantly takes place in David’s apartment. Despite the single location, there is a lot of use of creative camera movement that makes it appealing to the eyes. The love scenes are also executed tastefully in how they are shot. Additionally, the duo acting team of Stern and Carlile are fantastic in their portrayals. Both characters are people with dual personalities and are played with great subtlety. As screenwriters, Stern and Seltzer have written a raw and honest thriller about relationships that is refreshing. Furthermore, director Lauren Greenhall does an excellent job blocking her actors and camera to create a dynamic experience.
There is one area, however, where the Perfectly Good Moment lost me a little. As mentioned earlier, Ruby works for a tech company. Specifically, the company works with augmented reality technology. That element comes into play during the last act of the film. While it is an interesting twist, I found it a little out of left field in the story’s context. It felt like it belonged in a different film. Fortunately, this twist slowly begins to work in the film’s favor. The film is only 72 minutes long. Perhaps adding more to the story about Ruby’s job to build up the twist could have alleviated the jolting effect.
Despite the uneven story twist, Perfectly Good Moment is an engaging, exciting, and fresh thriller. Again, this film is the feature-length debut of its writers and director. However, it is clear evidence that this is a very talented team. I am curious to see what follows for them in their next film.

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