Sometimes it can seem as if we are totally ill-prepared for the dating scene. Trying (unsuccessfully) to dive into online dating showed me that I generally feel that way most of the time. It’s as if there should be an instruction manual to guide you on what to wear, what to say, and what to do when you go on a date so you can be sure to get it right! LOL
Well, Training Wheels gets us to think about what if we could practice dating someone ahead of time. Would you be up for renting a surrogate guy or gal to test your dating skills? That’s exactly what Enid does in this quirky film.
Training Wheels premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and is written and directed by Alison Rich. Alison also stars as the main protagonist, Enid Yarmis, a high-strung over-achiever who has found herself falling short in one important part of her life. Enid has never had a long-term relationship and is desperate to fix that.
George Basil co-stars as Ricky Mountain, a sensitive rent-a-guy with the most glorious amber flowing locks you’ll ever want to see on a man’s head. The majority of the film focuses solely on the interaction of these two characters, but you will never get bored of watching them together. Both actors are superb in their roles and their chemistry is undeniable. They volley their lines so effortlessly you will quickly forget this is a fictional relationship.
This short film will keep you smiling while you watch Enid and Ricky go through her “training-wheels” scenario in preparation for hitting the dating scene. The premise might sound a bit crazy but trust me Training Wheels is campy in the best way. Think “Clueless” campy. It had me grinning from beginning to end.
The musical score of Training Wheels is used brilliantly to tell the story, perfectly matching the witty dialogue. The music and sound effects are so exact that they go a long way to infuse meaning and depth into this story. It’s almost as if you can feel every unspoken moment through the sound.
The cinematography is also creatively used to highlight the story in interesting ways. There is one scene where the frame is sliced into multiple moving sections as if you were looking into a kaleidoscope. Watching that scene gave me a true fly-on-the-wall experience. You will definitely know what I mean when you watch it.
Training Wheels is a film that makes you think about our ever-increasing quest for perfection and the pressure that spills over from that into our intimate relationships. It makes us think about ourselves and how we view our desire for and worthiness of love. I found this film to be surprisingly powerful and thought-provoking. Given its comedic tone and over-the-top premise, I didn’t expect to walk away feeling like I had learned a valuable lesson but I definitely did.
Training Wheels is a great film to watch with friends. I’m sure it will give you loads to talk about. If you watch it, be sure to let me know your thoughts.
“Training Wheels” / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Alison Rich, Producers: Olivia Aguilar, Bridgett Greenberg, Laura Schwartz, Peter Principato) — A socially inept woman rents one man to prepare for another. Fiction. Cast: Alison Rich, George Basil, Jack Cutmore-Scott, Zeke Nicholson, Kathy Yamamoto.
- Alison Rich is an actor, writer, and director. “Training Wheels” is her second short. Her first short, “The Other Morgan,” premiered at SXSW in 2021. Other credits include acting on ABC’s “The Goldbergs” and HBO Max’s “The Other Two,” writing for Saturday Night Live and “The Goldbergs,” and directing various digital and stage projects, including Ego Nwodim’s one-woman show.