How do you end a dysfunctional relationship? First off, it’s probably a good idea to do it face-to-face; you should start phasing out text message breakups around late adolescence. But you want to make sure it’s not too intimate. Maybe set up a date at a neutral location, like an outdoor food market, to avoid uncomfortable lingering and emotional ambiguity after you’ve had “the talk.” It’s gotta be firm and decisive. Pump yourself up beforehand with a little pep talk, and remember: ‘love’ and ‘like’ are not the same thing. Oh, and whatever you do, commit to your decision. There’s nothing worse than a dead relationship that goes on and on because you’re just too cowardly to call it quits.
Except it’s never actually that easy, and the latest improvised web short from close friends and collaborators Adrian Martinez and Hugo Perez takes three minutes to lay out a difficult situation with which many of us are all too familiar. Starting with a split screen sequence that follows the respective pre-break up preparations for a couple played by Martinez and Domenica Cameron-Scorsese (no, the last name is not a coincidence), Splits continues with the loose, exploratory style developed in the duo’s previous two shorts. Overlapped voiceover narrations make explicit the internal monologues of each party as they prepare to face the inevitable — Him: “Be a man!”; Her: “My mother was right!”– until the moment finally arrives and awkward tension gives way to resignation and inertia.
Take a look and appreciate the particular magic of acting on-the-fly cultivated in these little micro shorts, where all the emotional complexity of a seemingly trivial moment is laid bare in two improvised takes.