HollyShorts Film Festival Selection: ‘Last Chance Moms’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

Last Chance Moms is a short film that will warm your heart because of the beautiful display of female friendship on-screen. The one thing that I always gravitate towards when watching films about women or relationships in general is honesty. Director Mandy Fabian, co-writers, Sarah Chaney and Heather Olt all created something so sweet and charming. It has such a nice balance between humorous moments and dramatic beats. Life is truly a rollercoaster and that is exactly what they showed in this short film. Anything can happen at any moment.

We have two best friends, Emily (Sarah Chaney) and Kristen (Heather Olt). Emily is a successful entrepreneur, who waited too long to have a baby and after finally feeling ready to raise the child on her own, she’s now told it’s physically impossible. I connected the most with Emily’s character because of how she put her career first. When we first meet her, she’s sarcastic and expresses what everyone actually thinks of her. Why is putting your career first always seen as a negative when you’re a woman? As society evolves and women become more independent, the gender restrictions and ideologies surrounding it have to change. We have now moved far away from the confinements of the misogynistic system.

Then we meet Kristen, a struggling actress, who is simultaneously nine months pregnant and is forced to raise her baby alone after being left by her boyfriend, Mark. He did not think he was suited to be a father. Which raises a question about relationships themselves, do we ever really know the person we are with? I mean, you think you do after everything you have gone through with a significant other, but even during a joyous moment like having a child together, they will still surprise you. It doesn’t matter which position you’re in; single or in a relationship, nothing is ever secure. It’s a very bleak realization but that is what makes life scary.

The one moment that really worked well was when Kristen and Sarah were in the car together. They were driving to Kristen’s sisters home for dinner. You could feel the best friend energy radiatiating off the screen. They did not have to say much to each other to have the other understand how they were feeling. There was a clear connection and it was something special to see on-screen. Last Chance Moms has a great story, strong writing, and a female friendship that you will root for in the end.

It premieres in Los Angeles on September 24th, as part of the Oscar-qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival. It will also screen at the Catalyst Story Institute Festival, running from September 29th to October 3rd in Duluth, Minnesota.

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