Get You Better (2024)
Get You Better (2024)

Genre: Drama and Short Running Time: 20 min.

Release Date: June 14th, 2024 MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Director: Danica Jensen Actors: Danica Jensen, Baldur Thor, Rivera Reese

 


 

“H

e needs help.” Arriving at the Malibu Ranch Treatment Center, Devin Paulsen (Danica Jensen) attempts to check in her ex-boyfriend, Wesley Sommers (Baldur Thor), who is suffering from alcoholism. But since he’s not currently drunk, the rehab facility refuses to accept him. It’s an infuriating policy, but perhaps it’s in place to ensure that sober people aren’t unintentionally admitted; compellingly, it’s not enough to ask for assistance, it must be proven to be necessary. Nevertheless, he has a problem, though he’s definitely not ready to acknowledge it.

“You’re acting like a baby!” Pleased at the notion that what he thought was a mere joyride is now no longer a spontaneous intervention, Wes toys around with Devin’s car, immaturely trying to stop her from heading to a bar; her new idea is that if she can get him to take a sip of beer, he’ll fall back into his routine, become hopelessly inebriated, and be fit for the facility. It’s an uncompromising mission of causing harm for the hope of healing. She, of course, has her own issues, including with smoking and drinking herself, though these are incidental in the wake of her partner’s addictions.

“You’re spiking a sober alcoholic’s drink?” This couple is extremely toxic; their relationship contains zero trust and zero understanding of responsibility or awareness. This puts the audience in a difficult predicament: are they supposed to sympathize, pity, or simply detest the actions onscreen (a purposeful yet disheartening strategy by the filmmakers)? In the event they relate to the roles, is that just as lamentable? When filmic leads make all the wrong decisions, it’s impossible to care about their plights, even when they would normally generate some level of empathy. Ultimately, this damaged twosome fall back into their bad habits – whether it’s abusing substances, enabling each other’s vices, or losing control of faculties and tempers – continuing a cycle of behavioral awfulness and lack of self-restraint (plus, for a seasoned lush, Wes appears to have an exceptionally low tolerance). Why exactly are they together? And what do either hope to achieve in this experiment? Do the ends (which are intentionally ambiguous) justify the means?

Devin convinces herself that she’s an ex-girlfriend anyway, so why does she care what happens to Wes? In the end, it’s sad but unaffecting, defining its purpose with a shot of a crudely scrawled “you suck” written on a bathroom wall, suggesting that no one here is explicitly benefitting from the impromptu plan. Fortunately, the music is fitting and the acting is excellent for a quick, focused, nicely-lensed short subject that clearly has personal roots for writer/director/star Jensen.

– Mike Massie

  • 5/10