Features

SFotD: ‘The Man At the Counter’ is a Romantic Poem with a Tip Jar

Why Watch? In this short from Brian McAllister, an old man routinely visits a coffee shop, explaining to the young man behind the counter that he takes his coffee plain before pocketing a bunch of sugar packets. The young man lets his imagination run wild with thoughts of what the old man wants them for. Tom Everett Scott (That Thing You Do!) narrates this tale via a long-form ABAB-style poem where things go from mysterious to syrupy sweet.

It’s covered in nostalgia despite a mostly modern setting, and the camera does a lot of the heavy lifting by pulling in focus to the actors’ eyes or floating along gracefully when the mood strikes. Plus, it’s grounded in something that lets the tenderness of it breathe. This is the exact kind of thing that could feel false and smarmy, but ends up warm and inviting because it’s an exercise in the importance of telling stories as much as it is a demonstration of great storytelling. The poem is honestly a bit much at first, but it grows on you, and the story itself is a lot like an ice cream truck — you hear it coming from a long way off, but you’re still happy when it arrives.

Hat tip to Short of the Week for this one.

What will it cost? Around 8 minutes.

Skip Work. Watch More Short Films.

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

Read More from Scott Beggs
Get Film School Rejects in your email. All the cool kids are doing it:
Previous Article
Next Article
Reject Nation
1 Comment
Leave a comment
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!