Directed by Tynan DeLong | Performed by Anthony Oberbeck, Colin Burgess, Brian Fiddyment | Edited by Colin Burgess, Anthony Oberbeck, Tynan DeLong
The works of Tynan DeLong all seem to build on one principal idea: no one will ever truly understand you. Bodies are weird, voices are hard to use, handshakes are aggressive, birthday parties are ruined, and the relationships between father and son are a deep mine of painful hilarity. DeLong’s Dad & Step Dad made me think about my own father almost immediately. Dads can be awful, magnificent, ridiculous creatures, and for anyone who can claim a relationship with a dad, there is something very special to inherit in this film.
The simple premise - a dad drops off his son for a weekend with the step-dad - is already uncomfortable. The utter lack of ease between the two dads is the driving force of the comedy, and the interactions between these two rigid men never let me feel particularly good about laughing at them. But I recognized myself in them both, and I saw my own father in them, and the “general dad” that seems to always be fumbling with a camera or having a mildly banal argument with his child within earshot of us all at any given moment.
DeLong’s use of what appears to be the same apartment for so many of his films is a testament to prioritizing story and execution over production value. It’s hugely satisfying to watch a talented filmmaker decide to simply go for it, regardless of perceived limitations on production. Filmmakers like DeLong and his contemporaries have been successfully telling stories in a way that somehow wrangles all three points of good/fast/cheap for the past few years. Dad & Step-Dad is a perfect example of how to make people laugh - and feel a little introspective - by solely relying on your wits as a filmmaker, creature comforts be damned.
Review By Tymon Brown
See more of director Tynan DeLong’s work here.
Dad & Step-Dad was selected and screened for our VOL. 002 Series, November 25th, 2018