(The 2016 Slamdance Film Festival coming to a close but the reviews can’t stop! Won’t stop!)

Nicholas (Blair Dwyer) is one of those insanely jealous boyfriends who jumps to the worst possible conclusion when he discovers that his fiancé Mona (Laura Hughes) has been communicating with a mysterious “friend.” Considering that Mona only refers to the mystery person as “a friend,” her seemingly purposeful aloofness and ambiguity drives Nicholas to believe that she must be cheating on him with said “friend.”

Nicholas decides he needs photographic evidence of Mona’s cheating, so that he can coldly confront her with undeniable proof. So, Nicholas does what any irrational person would do, he waits in a cab, with camera at the ready, outside of Mona’s house. His cabbie, Trevor (Craig Anderson), is given one simple task, to tail the cab that Mona gets into, but things go terribly awry. Nicholas and Trevor spend the remainder of the night trying to track down Mona, often finding themselves in ridiculous and/or dangerous situations. All in the name of jealousy.

Combining elements of slapstick comedy, film noir and early Tarantino-esque dialogue, Australian writers-directors Daniel James Millar and Bryan Moses create a zany wild goose chase that is exaggerated to humorously ridiculous proportions. Millar and Moses obviously enjoyed brainstorming ways that such a simple scenario could go horribly wrong. The Tail Job’s screenplay is a ton of fun, and the interplay between Blair Dwyer and Craig Anderson is totally spot on.

The narrative structure of The Tail Job reveals the identity of Mona’s “friend” fairly early on, reminding the audience that it is jealousy not logic that leads to Nicholas’ endless string of bad decisions on this fateful night. Millar and Moses present The Tail Job like a Proverb, teaching us lesson on the horrors of jealous. Nicholas suffers this one long night to save the rest of us from making the same mistake.

– Don Simpson (@thatdonsimpson)

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