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Tribeca 2022: “Sparring Partner”


Rating: 4 out of 5.

There is a certain moment when two people get attracted to each other but don’t know how to express it. When that occurs between two co-workers, it’s even worse. What if one of them has a personal life at home with a wife or a husband, girlfriend or boyfriend? Will one of them be willing to jeopardize what’s being carefully built as a family union for a romance that may not last long?

“Sparring Partner” follows a woman (Cecily Strong) and a man (KeiLyn Durrel Jones), as they sit in a park to discuss all sorts of things. They like each other. But they don’t speak about it loudly. Instead, they talk about work, music, and even dance for a short amount of time. But when the woman begins to question the morality of their relationship and what it could lead to, the intense moment we spoke about earlier arises. Then they realize taking the first step is not that difficult. But who will make an effort to have it last longer?

Written by Neil LaBute and directed by J.J. Kandel, “Sparring Partner” is an excellent short film that shows what kind of conversations two people must have before even thinking about beginning a romance. It’s like a bible for two people to explore all the possibilities, pros and cons and come up with the best solution possible before it’s too late. Without going deep into details, the film provides a satisfactory ending by showing how adults must behave when there is a any possibility of an error that could have been avoided.

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