After a stressful workday, Deborah settles in for some intimate “me time” at home, until three other aspects of her psyche appear, dredge up deep-seated inhibitions, and threaten to derail her plan.
A selection of Short of the Week, the web’s leading curators of quality short films.
“Rarely do we encounter a sex comedy as…sincere as “Me Time”, and that is definitely a compliment. Writer/Director Iyabo Boyd’s masturbation farce takes an old-fashioned multiple personality premise but reworks it for an age of feminine self-actualization, elevating masturbation from self-indulgence towards self-love, in this technically proficient comedic showcase that is both topical to the culture and deeply personal for its creator.
In the film, Adenike Thomas gives her best Eddie Murphy impression by performing as four aspects of Deborah, a young professional settling in at home after a grueling day. Autoeroticism is on the docket, only to be short-circuited by the personifications of her inner monologue, as archetypes of her personality emerge to engage in heated debate around the scheduled action. Deborah “prime” is pulled in varying directions by cozy Deb, drinking tea in her glasses and sweater, sexy Deb, glammed up and demanding a trip to the club, and goddess Deb, replete in headdress and face-paint, whose advocacy for masturbation is unnecessarily imbued with all the devotion of a religious act. If “me time” has any chance of happening, these Debs need to get on the same page.
While our curatorial team rolled its eyes initially at Me Time’s multiple personality premise, the execution of the conceit is top-notch. Thomas inhabits the role(s) so fully, and the production, which blends the traditional film trickery of body doubles, locked camera angles, and block shooting, also incorporates VFX compositing, to create a seamless illusion. In deliberating the film, a member of our team was astonished to learn that all 4 characters were, in fact, performed by the same actress! Additionally, attractive production design mitigates the simplicity of the single-room setting and inventive direction by Boyd wrings a surprising amount of visual dynamism from the limited setup.
The humor is a contradiction—while explicit, it is also…safe? Trailblazing, yet familiar, in a way that is actually befitting for Boyd’s aims of destigmatization. Shorn of shame and objectification, the potential bawdiness of the scenario is subverted, and supplemented by genuine feeling. The result is a film that is surprisingly sweet in its emotional arc as Deborah journeys towards self-discovery and acceptance. It is a time-honored narrative structure that, in this case, just happens to be pushed along by a purple dildo, resulting in a film that, tonally, we find fascinating.
Yet Boyd’s motivation for the story is more personal than simple sex-positivity. Forgive the extended quote, but her words are poignant, and I don’t want to misrepresent her. Writing to Short of the Week, she explains that, “After years of lackluster sex and ignoring the disconnect I felt with my body, I faced an inner truth head-on: the sexual trauma I had experienced in my twenties had done a number on me and I needed to do something about it. Therapy helped, but what I really needed to do was reclaim my own body and find a way to break through the fears and inhibitions I had around my own pleasure. I picked up a book about self-love and the emotional complexity of orgasming after trauma, and got to work.”….***READ the Full Review at shortoftheweek.com***
Written and Directed by
Director of Photography
Costume and Production Design
Original Music By
First Assistant Camera
Second Assistant Camera
Joseph Boyd, CompanyB LLC
Dawn Williams Boyd
Brian N. Joseph
Sound Editor /Designer
Reproduced on this channel with the permission of the filmmakers.