Adam Linkenhelt’s A Close Encounter is a sex comedy detailing the meet-cute between two passengers on a near-empty flight. At fifteen minutes long, the film takes the time to follow the budding romance beyond the flight and into the jacuzzi. An unexpected twist leads to a Thanksgiving invite.
Thomas (Douglas Olsson, also the screenwriter) meets Ashley (Rachel Alig) occupying the window seat while finding himself assigned the aisle seat. His gripes are cut short when sparks fly with the charming, caustic young woman. In comparison, he comes across as a grumpy, much older man who does not want to rub shoulders with the common folk. Conversation flows, despite pesky interruptions from passengers and flight attendants. A running gag about the empty flight offers mildly amusing moments both visual and verbal. The general style of humour is a recall to jokes of decades past, like burly passengers that fart in your face.
This legacy carries forward as Thomas and Ashley end up at his house. The first is a set-up through Viagra that pays off later in the film when fresh interruptions press pause on their plans. In the meantime, a call with Ashley’s mother (Rebecca Ritz) brings on a fresh set of jokes and a twist none of the characters are happy about. An argument follows, a sequence meant purely to draw out laughs even as emotional moments punctuate the exchange of insults.
A Close Encounter employs old-school humour in its writing as its protagonists navigate forming new relationships. By the time the Viagra has set in, its need is well and truly dead. At least there is Thanksgiving dinner to patch things up.
Watch A Close Encounter Short Film Trailer
A Close Encounter: The May-December Romance from Hell