Choosing Sides (2013) Movie Review
by Parissa Janaraghi
Choosing Sides is a short comedy written by Yael Green and directed by Lee Loechler which concentrates on a family dinner conversation between a Catholic father, Peter (Timothy J. Cox), a Jewish mother, Ellen (Rachel Lynn Jackson) and their young teenage son Mikey (Max Abe Plush). As Mikey will be turning 12 soon their discussion turns to the topic of religion and what follows is a wonderfully witty exchange as the mother and father try to persuade Mikey to choose to their own religion whilst using extreme references to knock the others religion down.
The script is sharp and funny and the three actors all give strong performances but especially Cox and Jackson as the desperate parents who use brilliantly clichéd religious examples to put down Judaism and Catholicism. What starts off as a gentle discussion quickly rises to hilarious one-liners as both desperately try to win their son in the religious tug of war. Of course what we find in the end is that the son is more enlightened than both parents and has his own ideas about religion and what he wants to follow.
This short film plays out very well as an amusing vignette in which we see the extremes parents can go to use their children against each other. For the short length of screen time what we get to see is engaging, laugh out loud funny and actually pretty smart, with the best part being the little twist at the end when after the parents have purged out all the religious insults they can at each other the son finally reveals how much smarter he is and reveals his own choice of religion at which point the parents join forces to come up with even more humorous religious insults, but this time their target is their son!