AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL 2011
By Don Simpson | October 13, 2011
Director: Blayne Weaver
Writer: Blayne Weaver
Starring: Blayne Weaver, Martin Starr, Natalie Morales, Patrick J. Adams, Vanessa Branch, John Michael Higgins, Dave Foley
The titular six month rule is one of many rules created and adhered to by Tyler (Blayne Weaver). It essentially states that after six months, anyone can recover from any relationship. Of course Tyler is a womanizing, commitment-phobic jerk who is unable (and unwilling) to maintain a relationship with any woman for more than six months. Heck, who needs a commitment when you have a sexy blond model, Wendy (Vanessa Branch), who waits around her apartment in lingerie hoping you will stop by for a “no strings attached” quickie? So, yes, of course Tyler would think relationships are not essential and easy to recover from!
But then fate rears its hand and determines that Tyler will meet Sophie (Natalie Morales) — who instead of being his “usual” type is his “real” type (ah, more warped Tyler logic to digest) — and he falls head over heels for her. This strange twist of fate occurs around the same time that Tyler’s best friend, Alan (Martin Starr), slips into a monotonic depression after a break-up with his long-term “mojito bitch” fiance, Claire (Jaime Pressly).
6 Month Rule is surprisingly formulaic for the first two acts, but then the final act surprisingly defies all conventional Hollywood rom-com/buddy movie tropes. In fact, if it was not for the final act — specifically the conclusion — 6 Month Rule would have never scored more than a four in my book. Sure the film has some interesting characters — notably Sophie — but it is really difficult not to be incredibly annoyed by Tyler. There is also a cartoonish “hipster singer-songwriter” character, Julian (Patrick J. Adams), who warrants nothing more than primal hatred and disgust. But then I eventually realized that all of the negative reactions I was having to the characters of Tyler and Julian were pre-planned by writer-director Blayne Weaver. These are characters whom we are not supposed to like. Sophie is the only sympathetic one — she is the most positively portrayed, the strongest and the most human. I also think that is why I respect Weaver’s third act so much — it reveals that everything I disliked about 6 Month Rule for the first two acts was purposefully designed that way. I fell into Weaver’s trap, and he certainly deserves some kudos for luring me in.