TIFF 2016: 3-Way (Not Calling) Review

Short Cuts

3-Way (Not Calling) is a thoroughly enjoyable timely comedy. Short films often have to be focused and poignant in order to succeed and 3- Way (Not Calling) is no different. While the film is light, it fits in just enough awkwardness to be funny without being too uncomfortable, though there were some certainly uncomfortable moments.

The story focuses on Mel (Emma Hunter) and her boyfriend Kevin (Kristian Bruun), who decide to have a threesome on Mel’s birthday. As they begin to search for options, they consider a cute but detached barista who turns out to be more than they bargained for. The age gap appears to be relatively small, but the three clearly live different lifestyles, which shows that mixing coffee and couplehood does have its setbacks.

Kristian Bruun is excellent, but Emma Hunter is the comedic linchpin. Her vaguely unlikable character rounds out the other two, and Mel is an apt rendition of contemporary adulthood in a world of Tinder and Netflix and Chill. She is painfully apathetic but somehow also endearingly self-centered. The film is less about sex as it is about commitment, not necessarily romantically, but a commitment to keeping oneself interested. In a social climate that asks us to be simultaneously interested and interesting, 3-Way (Not Calling) pinpoints the almost inherent lackadaisical aspect of late 20 something/early 30 something daily life and mines it. Of course, the couple would look no further than their barista, because she is immediate, sort of familiar and young enough to be fearless where Mel might not be. Kevin and Mel are likable weirdos who seem to make a habit of trying new things, which is what makes the film more charming than childish.


This is a well paced, well acted and well written short that’s light and never strays from its point. While it might not break down any barriers, it’s a fascinating meditation on dating, pseudo-adulthood and keeping things interesting in the bedroom.

Screening as part of Short Cuts Programme 1: 

Thursday September 8, 8:15pm @ Scotiabank 2

Saturday September 17, 1:00pm @ Scotiabank 8


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