Most would agree that it’s important to work hard, but the question Christopher Good’s short film “Brad Cuts Loose” poses is, should people play just as hard? Opening like a fever dream remake of Mike Judge’s Office Space, the titular Brad, played by Kentucker Audley (Funny Bunny; Christmas, Again), is overloaded with work, enduring an endless supply of files and folders thrown onto his desk. His soulless workplace seems to only be inhabited by bros who are more interested in talking about how hard their cars rev than their feelings. Good is known for his many music videos, having worked with bands like Jens Lekman, Okkervil River, and Perfume Genius. He first developed this idea for a narrative short because he wanted to make a film about a “creep.” Utilizing some music video editing techniques and his signature bizarre flair, Good tells a story about a hapless, obsequious guy who’s also the victim of the white-collar workplace because life is happening to him instead of for him.

In a swimming pool session at his unorthodox therapist’s home office, Brad is asked to push past his psycho tendencies and is finally given license to take control and face his pent-up sexual fantasies. Much in the same way the hypnotist altered the course of Ron Livingston’s life in Office Space, this session sets off a bizarre chain of events and allows Brad to cross paths with Janine, played by Tipper Newton (The Mindy Project, Hannah Takes the Stairs), who teaches him that “the devil is in the details” regarding sexual fantasies.

This is when “Brad Cuts Loose” starts to splinter from Mike Judge and take on the sensibilities of offbeat ‘80s films like After Hours, Eating Raoul, and Something Wild. What starts as a call to “play hard” instead transitions into a send-up of consumer and tech culture. Brad starts to realize that everything you could ever dream of – no matter how perverse – is possible in the age of the Internet and spying smartphones. Since we can watch and say whatever we want, are we becoming a culture who wants to “get off” all of the time? What does cutting loose mean in this day and age? By the end of the film, Good seems to suggest it might just be going after your hopes, your dreams, and your goals. Or just finding that special someone to listen to all of your problems while they drool candied sludge out of their mouth.

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