I was bored the other night. The usual TV shows I watch were in repeats so I did what I usually do and pick a film to stream on Netflix. “Cashback”, written and directed by Sean Ellis was my pick, just based on the blurb, but by the end of the film I was surprised at how warm and human it turned out. I enjoyed it and recommend it for anyone looking for a smart adult comedy-drama with a twist of sci-fi.
The Netflix blurb perked my ears up:
After breaking up with his girlfriend, aspiring artist Ben Willis (Sean Biggerstaff) develops insomnia and takes a night-shift job at a supermarket to pass the hours. He soon discovers that he can freeze time and begins fantasizing about pretty checkout clerk Sharon (Emilia Fox). When he’s not dreaming of Sharon — who may hold the key to resolving his sleeplessness — Ben roams the aisles disrobing beautiful customers and sketching them.
So of course I wanted to check out the part where he roams the aisles and disrobes beautiful customers. Make no mistake there is a LOT of female nudity but it is done in an art tone rather than in the usual titillating tone of young sex comedies. In fact when it does get trashy the nudity is absent.
This film is a full length version of an Oscar nominated short and I thought the additional material of the feature fit nicely into the material from the short.
The actors all did a good job in their roles. One of the best scenes, to me, is the montage of all of them getting ready for the store manager’s birthday party. It showed a nice snippet of all the characters in their own world.
Sean Biggerstaff as Ben and Emilia Fox as Sharon had good chemistry and I was rooting for them to get together. The other characters in the store were more cartoon but I think we all think of our co-workers as bits of cartoons from time to time.
I thought the work scenes rang true to me. I remember in my younger days trying not to watch the clock to help the work day move faster. We also played games during the shift to pass the time. The store soccer match was fun to watch too.
The sci-fi element wasn’t overdone and seemed natural to the story. The romance part didn’t overwhelm the comedy and vice versa. That is to the credit of the director Sean Ellis. I was also impressed with the technical aspects such as the when time is stopped and the snow at the end. It was good to see polished special effects in such a “small” film and it made me jealous for the home made films I do….
If you don’t mind a LOT of female nudity and some bathroom humor this film will be a surprise. Part romantic comedy, part sci-fi, and part college sex romp, the story has a strong heart at the end.
Here is the trailer: