Review: Tug


Despite how nice the relationship can be, the aftermath of a breakup can sour even the fondest of memories. In our efforts to leave our past behind us, we’ll always held back by that last line of hope. Or, you know, the crazy ex that just won’t take a hint…

Director: Abram Makowka
Rating: N/A
Release Date: February 19, 2013 on VOD (iTunes link)

After breaking up with his ex, Kim (Haylie Duff), an aspiring screenwriter (Sam Huntington) attempts to move past his past with his new girlfriend, Ariel (Sarah Drew). Kim, however, is not too keen about the breakup, calling both the man’s cell phone and house phone, angering his roommate and best friend, Carl (Maulik Pancholy), in the process. It’s up to the unnamed protagonist to decide who will win this tug of war over his heart.

Beyond the typical relationships drama, there are little subplot threads involving a neighbor going through a mid-life crisis (Wendi McLendon-Covey), a less than trustworthy friend (Zachary Knighton), and the typical slacker mentality that modern films find themselves addled with when starring a 20-something character. 

Tug felt like it was being pulled too thin over the course of its sparse runtime. With all of the minute subplots, the film felt more like a few TV episodes spliced together. This could be due either to Makowka attempting to add extra elements to beef the protagonist’s overall arc or simply too many characters. I can understand that these auxiliary characters were used to allow the protagonist to grow as a character, but it could have been done better.

The acting was a mixed bag. There were a few scenes where dialogue felt forced, like jokes were being obviously set up rather than coming across naturally. I know, obviously such lines will be “delivered,” given the nature of a script, but some ad-libbing/improv would have at least given an air of flow.

However, that’s not to say that the actors themselves are bad. Huntington has a captivating presence that stands out above the others (besides, you know, acting in the lead role). I’d love to see what he could do in a big name comedy.

Tug is a basic independent comedy that was moderately light on the comedy. While anybody can relate and empathize with the struggle of maintaining a new relationship while still being tied down by a past lover, the film doesn’t present anything new or interesting on the subject. This is one game of Tug of war that you won’t mind losing out on.