Everything in Dan and Hannah’s relationship has gone as smooth as you can imagine. They are young, naïve and in love.
That is until Dan invites Hannah for dinner. In Hannah’s mind, this invitation obviously means wedding bells.
As she ventures to Dan’s apartment, Hannah recounts their relationship and obsesses over the reality and immediacy of the future. Her life is about to change forever.
Writer/director: Patrick T. Lo
Producer: Matt Code
“It was a family dinner with my parents and my sister over a decade ago.
I was about 14.
I will never forget that dinner. A home-cooked meal by mom could never go wrong, usually. (This depends on the mom. Though you should always respect a mom’s cooking.) But it wasn’t the food that made the meal so memorable.
I remember it clearly: my dad broke the news that my mom was diagnosed with a type of cancer. I pretended like I didn’t care and focused on the television playing in the next room. See, the news was always on whenever we had dinner. I never cared for the news. (I was 14 and didn’t care about anything other than pro wrestling and emo bands. Give me a break.)
But on that night, I’d rather watch the news than let the truth sink in. My dad continued to consider the seriousness of my mother’s terminal illness.
I kept on eating. Every bite added to the mush piling up in my mouth because I wasn’t swallowing. I couldn’t swallow. I was trying to act tough by not showing my emotions. What a shitty kid I was.
‘Who are you to tell me that you have health issues? What do you mean you won’t be there to take care of me? It’s your responsibility as a parent to stay alive. Feed me.’
I had many thoughts going through my head at that moment but, again, I tried desperately to hide my feelings. Then, reality sunk in. I realized I wasn’t angry at her; I was angry that I couldn’t do anything to stop this.
The wall I built up could only hold for so long before it crumbled. And it did. I sobbed but I fought hard to stay quiet. My attempt to not interrupt the dinner might have put more attention on me, but no matter – I wasn’t the tough kid I thought I was. Looking back, I’m glad I wasn’t.
About a year after this dinner, my mom passed away at the hospital. Since then, I’ve always found it difficult to talk about. This short film may as well be my self-indulgent emotional release. Long story short: instead of going to therapy, I’ve decided to make films about myself though fictional characters.
To spoil the film a little bit, the ending scene resembled how my parents broke the news about the cancer. Instead of a family dinner, it’s a fictional account of an unmarried couple. It’s about a girl’s neuroticism and a guy revealing bad news. I only hope the ending captured how I felt at that moment.”
About Patrick T. Lo
Born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada, Patrick T. Lo is a screenwriter/director and interactive designer.
His projects have been screened in North America and Europe and featured on Huffington Post, Wired, Toronto Star, the National Post and more.
Balancing between humour and drama, his narrative work focuses on characters with contradicting behaviors and viewpoints.
In 2013, he co-founded Cynical People, a creative studio based in Toronto.
Patrick is currently developing his debut feature film.