Despite my friends’ urging, I’ve only ever been inside Mann Library a couple of times. Honestly, for me it’s just not worth the walk. Matt Hagerty ‘17 clearly had a different opinion, as he directed and produced a short film in there! “Anatomy of a Breakup,” a fast-paced, quippy comedy released on Amazon Prime, is Hagerty’s first work, and has the potential to be optioned into a TV pilot. Fellow Sun writer Anna Delwiche had the chance to interview the alumnus before his work’s debut, which I’d recommend checking out.
As if writing, directing and producing the short wasn’t enough, Hagerty also plays the lead role, recently heart-broken college freshman AJ Fitzpatrick. After getting dumped by his girlfriend, AJ waffles back and forth between contrasting sets of advice from two fraternity buddies. This is the real meat of the film, as fellow leads Seth Russell and Zack Sztanyo offer comically differing paths to the naive youngster. Russell’s “The Drak” suggests a pseudo-scientific, analytic and seemingly-rational response, while Sztanyo’s “Cam” pushes for a more playboy-style rebound. Hagerty has good chemistry with his two mates and the trio convey a relatable, if not somewhat exaggerated, tale.
This film’s fast-paced dialogue and snappy transitions are its calling cards, but don’t go into this short expecting to be blown away. You really gotta take this one for what it is, and if you’re capable of not comparing it to whatever movie you saw most recently in theaters, it’ll be a pleasant experience. There’s some stuff that bothered me — some dialogue feels a bit too scripted — but it made me laugh a couple times. I even tapped back a couple times to catch a beat again, and in a 17 minute first-time short film, that’s about all I can ask for.
“Anatomy of a Breakup” is definitely worth a watch, if only for the novelty of watching a film produced in your own library. As for Matt Hagerty, he’s clearly got a knack for writing dialogue, and I’m excited to see what he does next provided, of course, that my parents keep paying for Amazon Prime.
Nick Smith is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.