Friday, April 14, 2017

Non-Transferable (2017) Movie Review

The first thing you'll notice is that Non-Transferable is not your run of the mill meet-cute - in fact, our two leads couldn't be more opposite. Amy (Ashley Clements), a self-proclaimed "global concierge", is a by-the-books woman who has a plan - for everything. Except getting dumped by her boyfriend on their anniversary right before they were supposed to embark on a two week, non-refundable vacation to Europe. Her two best friends, (Shanna Malcolm and Katie Wee) convince her to still go, just with a different guy - who has to have the same name as her ex. Enter Josh Merit (Brendan Bradley), a kindergarten teacher who not only doesn't follow life's rule book, he tears, burns, and scatters its ashes.

They're a mismatch from the start and they know it - there's no denying it after their hilarious "first fight" in front of a TSA agent that ends in a judgmental exchange ("Y'all are crazy." "We're in therapy.") After Josh's near-death experience during takeoff, they finally reach their destination - but the journeys just begun.

What follows is a crazy, endearing, butterflies in your stomach ride as Amy and Josh try to navigate their trip (after Josh loses their itinerary out the car window), not to mention their ''just met you off the internet', totally-not-awkward relationship. Set against the gorgeous backdrop of the Turkish landscape, both Amy and Josh discover there's so much more to a journey when you're brave enough to throw out the rule book.

As director, writer, co-producer, and co-star of Non-Transferable, Bradley was hyper-focused on every aspect of the film, from production to distribution. "A question I always asked myself," he says, "is how can we bring together advertisers and artists to share the risk and reward of original storytelling?" For Bradley, that vision became reality. Co-financed by the country of Turkey, a remarkable mutual filmmaking relationship ensued. The entire film team supported and featured the country's travel brands and famous destinations in a collaborative effort to produce an international love story.

What sets Non-Transferable apart from most other rom-coms is how it successfully pulls the heart strings without losing its laughs. It's overflowing with hilarious moments from start to finish. A sincere marriage proposal one second, and the next somebody's gulping down lead-laden water from a millennium-old fountain to get moisturizing lotion out of their mouth because they- (no spoilers - you have to watch the film).

Even better, you know those scenes in every rom-com? The last-ditch running through the airport, the "just broke up" montage with muffled Michelle Branch playing in the background? Non-Transferable brings those nostalgic moments back - but with a twist. As our couple hurries towards their departing ferry, we expect they'll make it on board with little problem and then share a calm, beautiful boat ride. Instead, jumping off the pier, missing their ferry by inches and falling into the ocean (and subsequently drenching all their luggage) becomes the most romantic gesture in the world.

Moving behind the camera, Non-Transferable boasts another trailblazing aspect as being part of the new breed of film that's instrumental in rewriting modern movie language. It's a style of communication that's adapting to our technological advances and culture at breakneck speed - evident in the characters' rapid-fire dialogue of social media terms, such as the number of Instagram notifications, online dating, and having "four million followers on vine", etc,. Non-Transferable succeeds where few others have: walking the thin line between it's unique, "millennial" language being interesting enough to not lose its older audience, and being genuine enough to engage the entire younger demographic.

In an "epidemic of content", Bradley says he's trying to get back to the age when stories were about "bad timing, not bad people." To him, the genuine, uplifting romantic comedies of today get glossed over because "in the last decade we’ve shifted to mean-spirited characters and R-rated comedy." Not that he doesn't enjoy a 'Superbad'-esque movie as much as the rest of us, but his vision with Non-Transferable was a welcome "return to the 90’s formula using today’s social media pacing and personalities." It's safe to say after seeing Non-Transferable that his vision has succeeded, blending trans-media promotion and a modern technological language to achieve the best of both worlds. **


About Brendan Bradley:

After getting his start in the harsh New York independent theater and film scene, Bradley ventured into a variety of creative projects: starring in PBS Digitals Frankenstein MD, developing his first series 'Squatters' for DailyMotion Originals, Video Game Reunion for Comedy Central's Online Hub, and even earning casting as 'The Staples Guy' on dozens of television and radio commercials worldwide.

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