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I Love You, Guys (Short Film) ★★★★



Released: 14th February 2024

Director: Billie Melissa Rogan

Starring: Becky Bush, Celi Crossland

I Love You, Guys is a short film directed by Billie Melissa Rogan and written by Cory Varney. Starring Becky Bush, Celi Crossland, and Pedro Leandro, the film follows singer Sky (Bush) as she is on the brink of breaking America. But as her career catapults her into superstardom, she cannot help reflecting on her relationship with Taylor (Crossland).

Although it is only 15 minutes long, I Love You, Guys offers an intense emotional depth that comes from its exploration of the mental and physical impact of fame, as well as Varney’s tight screenplay. The film delves into Sky’s increasingly fragile state as her career begins to attract loads of fans but rather than embrace success, the film sees her reflect on the pressures that fame has brought on her life, especially as she cannot seem to choose between the personal and professional without sacrificing another.

Sky’s inner conflict displays a constant emotional battle that ties the film together. On one side, there is her relationship with Taylor, which has a deeply intimate and more relaxed chemistry. On the other side is her ‘business’ yet more serious side with that of her bandmates, so she doesn’t openly dawdle, especially with guitarist (Leandro). Bush beautifully conveys the growing pressure riding on Sky’s shoulders, as there is a quiet distress behind her character’s easy-going nature but unable to express it truthfully. Crossland also delivers a compelling performance that tugs on the heartstrings and offers a charming chemistry with Bush, reinforcing the film’s emotional resonance.

Through her smart Greta Gerwig-style visuals, Rogan beautifully captures the polarising differences in Sky before and after her big break. There is a dreaminess that shrouds her relationship with Taylor, providing a now-impossible period when compared to the grunginess of the club she is performing at. In addition, the former exudes a sense of happiness and contentment through heartfelt companionship while the eerie backstage area emphasises her loneliness. The colour differentiation easily highlights Sky’s respective happiness and sadness, but she feels the pressure to keep her personal life separate out of fear of public perception. In addition, she acknowledges the need for relationships in her life but it is clear that they are not on her terms as a live-stream with her fans see her present false smiles and unshed tears, reiterating that public perception is sadly now the dominating factor in her career rather than her happiness.

In her directorial debut, Rogan firmly encapsulates the pressure of the music industry through her nuanced eye for storytelling. As a result, I Love You, Guys offers the promise of a longer feature film while delivering a heartbreaking triumph of a short film.

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