Jake Gyllenhall is #1 on my celebrity crush list, so when I saw the title of today’s short film, I Know Jake Gyllenhaal is Going To Fuck My Girlfriend, I perked up—”Is that a promise?”
Let me clear one thing up, though: Jake Gyllenhaal, despite his titular invocation, will not grace your screen during this film’s runtime. Rather, the doe-eyed star becomes the source of one man’s descent into self-inflicted madness. Nino Mancuso’s dark comedy uses an absurd premise to explore jealousy, fear, self-destruction, and, of course, paranoia inside relationships.
Things start normal enough: Suzie and Sean head to the movies to watch a film featuring Gyllenhaal. But, slowly, Sean begins to have irrational fears about his girlfriend’s attraction to the hearthrob. And, so, Sean (played by writer Sean Wing) becomes his own worst enemy—manufacturing his own personal demise, his fear feeding on itself. In that sense, Mancuso’s film is as much about paranoia as it is about the baggage we all carry from past relationships.
Of course, in order for this to work, the film needs to be funny. Fortunately, it is. Mancuso’s direction and Wing’s writing harnesses the awkwardness, peppering the intensity with some genuinely funny sight-gags (for instance, the moment where Sean can’t even spell his “rival’s” name when trying to google his whereabouts). As one event leads to another, Sean’s insanity continues to escalate, his erratic behavior as hilarious as it is disturbing. The conclusion may leave you guessing, but the film’s central point is unmistakable: how often are we the architects of our own destruction?
Gyllenhaal perfectly blends paranoia and humor by capturing Sean’s sense of despair and doom through a comedic lens. The tone is definitely funny, but, visually, the film showcases Sean as if he’s in a legitimate psychological thriller, further highlighting the satire. Slow close-ups and the intense score add to the dramatic atmosphere and supplement Wing’s pitch-perfect performance with a subtle mix of helplessness and delirium. Sean’s girlfriend, who has no idea how distraught her boyfriend is, is portrayed by Angela Trimbur who was the lead of one of our favorite shorts from 2017: I Know You From Somewhere. She once again hits all the right notes playing Suzie, making the character instantly likable and above all suspicions.
I Know Jake Gyllenhaal Is Going To Fuck My Girlfriend screened at different prestigious festivals before its online release. It’s the perfect way to start the weekend a bit early, just, you know, make sure your girlfriend isn’t watching…