A comedy about a man who discovers his girlfriend has a history of dating Indian men and can’t shake it off.

“Tall Dark and Handsome,” a short comedy drama romance written and starring Amit Shah, directed by Sam Baron (The Orgy, Big Ears, Windscreenwiperman), delves into the complexities of cross-cultural relationships with humor and heart. Inspired by the creators’ own experiences, the film follows a man who grapples with his girlfriend’s dating history, sparking laughter and introspection as it explores themes of race, identity, and personal insecurities. With a blend of outrageous scenarios and truthful dynamics, the film aims to provoke thought and conversation, inviting viewers to consider why we choose the partners we do and challenging preconceived notions about love and attraction.

“Tall Dark and Handsome” is the culmination of their trilogy of short films exploring modern masculinity in crisis. From big comedies to romantic dramas, their process of honest, personal filmmaking shines a light on themes like love, death, work, and family, always finding moments of laughter and emotion in the hidden corners of human experience. With this film, they hope to spark dialogue and disagreement among viewers, encouraging conversations about race, relationships, and the complexities of attraction in today’s diverse world.

“Tall Dark and Handsome” explores the complexities of cross-cultural relationships and raises questions about race and partner preferences. What inspired you to tackle these themes in a comedic setting, and what do you hope audiences take away from the film’s exploration of these issues?

This is a very personal story for Amit Shah and myself. We were in the middle of a conversation about our real lives when we stumbled on the idea for this film. We wanted to make people laugh, while also raising complex questions about race, and why we choose the partners we do. We hope the story serves as a kind of challenge to the audience to make people think. We love the idea of viewers disagreeing at the end about who was right and who was wrong, and hopefully talking to each other about it.

How does “Tall Dark and Handsome” contribute to the overarching exploration of masculinity, and what aspects of masculinity did you aim to examine or challenge in this particular story?

This is the third film in our trilogy of tragicomedies exploring modern masculinity in crisis, so we wanted to push ourselves – Amit has an inherent ‘goodness’ to him, whereby the audience can’t help but sense his big heart and root for him, so I was curious to try playing against that, to take him into edgier territory where viewers might find their sympathy with his character tested. The film explores male insecurity and paranoia, and what happens when men suppress their feelings and privately stew instead of having the confidence to speak honestly to the people they love.

Can you discuss the balance between comedy and drama in addressing sensitive topics such as race and partner preferences, and how did you ensure that the humor remained grounded in truthful dynamics and vulnerabilities?

I’ve always enjoyed tackling complex subjects, from sexuality in The Orgy to mortality in Big Ears. It’s never for shock value, it’s because I believe the best comedy comes from inviting viewers to face what Jung might call our ‘shadow’ sides: the areas we splinter off from regular life because acknowledging them means accepting the parts of ourselves that we’re most afraid of. It’s a delicate line to tread, but if you approach these toe-curling topics with authentic curiosity, and if you’re willing to get really vulnerable, you can use the audience’s discomfort to build tension and get bigger laughs because they feel safe knowing that the comedy is rooted in universal insecurities and our shared humanity.

The film’s premise revolves around a man discovering his girlfriend’s history of dating Indian men and struggling to shake off his insecurities. How did you approach developing the characters and their relationships in a way that felt authentic and relatable to audiences?

I developed the script closely with Amit, and we opted to draw from our own lives and personal experiences as much as possible. I find that being honest and specific ultimately creates the most universal resonance. Naturally, I was nervous to direct a story set within a culture other than my own. I’m so grateful to Amit, as well as our brilliant cast members Shobu Kapoor, Sagar Radia and Bhasker Patel, for giving me their input and trust as we all collaborated on getting the details right.

The film aims to spark discussions and disagreements among viewers about who was right and wrong in the story. Can you discuss the ambiguity of the characters’ actions and motivations, and how you approached crafting a narrative that allows for multiple interpretations and viewpoints?

When we first had the idea, we were intrigued by the question of “what’s okay and what’s not?”. What counts as a healthy interest in moving away from your homogenous little bubble to broaden your horizons, and when does it become a fetishisation of someone else’s culture? We tried to develop the script in a way that both characters were in the wrong, and in also the right. We didn’t want this to be a morality tale of objective judgement, but rather an invitation for viewers to make their own conclusions.

What do you hope audiences remember or take away from their experience of watching “Tall Dark and Handsome,” and how do you envision the film sparking further conversations or reflections about race, relationships, and identity?

We hope the film encourages people to reflect on their own lives and relationships, and if there are uncomfortable edges there, perhaps this story can show that it’s better to be brave and talk to your loved ones about your fears, rather than trying to ignore or deny them until things get out of hand.

Can you tell us what are the short films that have inspired you the most?

I love Neville Is Dead by Louis Paxton, Sex Ed and Pregnant Pause (Watch on FS) by Alice Seabright, Punch-Drunk by Liam White, and 22. Anna Matthews by Ben Hector to name just a few. There are so many talented people out there!