Jealousy is often anything but logical. It's a concept that Chris Reinacher, formerly of Buzzfeed Video, thought would be interesting to poke fun at.
The Arroyo Grande native teamed up with a group of his friends to produce, My Girlfriend's Gay Friend, a short film that will screen at the San Luis Obispo Film Festival on March 16 and 17. The description on the festival's website reads simply, "A man's tolerance is challenged by his girlfriend's omnipresent gay best friend."
"Great!" I thought to myself, "I bet this film will tackle straight men's discomfort with gay men in a positive, productive way."
The short answer is kinda. The longer answer is that My Girlfriend's Gay Friend is not the film you think it is, in the most unexpectedly delightful way.
The writer/actor/content creator first got bit by the drama bug at Judkins Middle School and grew up making videos with his friends after school. Reinacher went on to graduate from Arroyo Grande High School and then studied theater, film, and television at UCLA. After churning out a ton of videos for Buzzfeed, Reinacher decided to do his own thing, making funny videos on his YouTube channel about content creation and collaborating with friends on projects. With more time on his hands, Reinacher and buddy/co-producer Jordan Dunn decided to work on a sketch that turned into My Girlfriend's Gay Friend.
"We had this idea just lying around," Reinacher said. "We thought it was funny to start a sketch in a totally different genre."
The seven-minute long short film starts with Jared (played by Dunn) having breakfast with his girlfriend Tina, talking with her about how it's normal for straight dudes to feel uncomfortable or jealous of their girlfriend's gay friends (all his bros agree!). While Tina tries to reassure Jared, Mike, the gay friend, bursts into the room in his underwear. As Jared leaves to go play racket ball with a friend, Mike flirtatiously feeds Tina a sausage as they finish breakfast. Things only escalate from there as Jared's paranoia increases. At the height of the film's tension, a dramatic twist takes things from a relatable rom-com to more of a psycho thriller. All is not what it seems.
"It's a relatable relationship that gets turned on its head," Reinacher said. "It's a sketch that gets turned into a short film in the middle."
While the film has already shown at the Mammoth Film Festival, it's also up on Reinacher's YouTube channel, where it's pulled in some 336,221 views to date.
"I definitely think it's funny when straight guys identify with that guy," Reinacher said of Dunn's character. "It is in a way relatable and un-talked about."
For young aspiring filmmakers on the Central Coast, Reinacher recommends pursing passion sooner, rather than later.
"Make it for fun," he said. "I'm a big proponent of just making it. There's so much technology. You have an amazing camera in your hand and then you can put it on the Internet and have an audience." Δ
Arts Editor Ryah Cooley didn't see that coming at.