Two strangers trying to avoid the crowd at a wedding reception end up making an unexpected connection.
Hitting it off with someone doesn’t usually happen in a snappy scene, it’s rather often an up and down ramble of awkward conversations that culminate into a spark of common interests. Joe Gillette’s ‘Reception’ takes us through the entire segment of the first encounter, where two strangers trying to avoid the crowd at a wedding reception end up making an unexpected connection.
I have always loved romantic comedies, but in most feature versions the “meet cute” is fast. They bump into each other and there’s an instant chemistry, and then the film quickly moves on and we (hopefully) buy that the two characters have a connection. With Reception I really just wanted to live in that first meeting longer. I wanted to stay in it as long as it actually would last in real life. In this case a 20 minute conversation between two people who didn’t initially set out to talk to each other. The goal was to hopefully have it feel a little more voyeuristic and real. A sort of slice of life. Dare to be boring haha. We filmed all 22 pages on one chilly night in January, and most takes were performances of the entire script, so we could maintain the authenticity and nuance of a single conversation as much as possible.
‘Reception’ holds a wonderful and incredibly natural feeling, with a calming yet very well poised construction. The great dynamic between the two leads Devin Kelley and Joe Gillette who pull off an outstanding job, carry the film’s awkward tenure and makes us almost forget about the cheeky romantic spark we should expect from such film.