Review: ‘Recovery’ Is the COVID Pandemic Comedy We Need [SXSW Online 2021]

Kaity - Co-Director
4 Min Read
DECAL/Sorø Films

In a time where filmmakers have been forced to become creative in their productions we’ve been bestowed with some interesting and refreshing formats. One of those fresh new takes includes Recovery, a film about two sisters who take a cross country road trip to save their grandmother from a COVID infected nursing home in Washington State.

The majority of Recovery follows the two sisters, played by the writers of the film Whitney Call and Mallory Everton, and their time in the car from New Mexico to Washington, with a few stops along the way. Between hilarious FaceTime calls with their COVID-denying, cruise sailing older sister to a pit stop to pick up Bruce, their grandmother’s Bernese Mountain Dog, Recovery doesn’t lack in pure comedy gold.

Sorøs Films

The film is set not long after the severity of COVID-19 was realized here in the United States and Recovery is a hilarious look back at those panicked and eerie first few months of 2020. There’s a sense of giggly recognition as they reenact those measures most of us took with the four elements of the early COVID Holy Grail — gloves, Lysol, bleach, and masks. But the best part of it all is the comedy isn’t shaming, it’s camaraderie. Jamie (Call) and Blake (Everton) were right there with us every step of the way, we just hadn’t seen them yet.

A film like this needs the perfect cast, and they had it. Whitney Call and Mallory Everton, best friends of 20 years, brought this vision to life in a way only two people who truly know and understand each other could. Very little of this film felt scripted, the interactions and dialogue between Call and Everton as authentic as one’s own relationship with a sibling, best friend, or significant other.

This film will make you laugh out loud and maybe cry a little if you’re like me and haven’t been able to see your best friend since 2019. It was easy to transport into the story, their friendship, and their journey, every up and down as delightful as the last.

Sorøs Films

With the limited capabilities that come with a pandemic production Recovery didn’t miss any marks. With a very large chunk of the film taking place inside a car they managed to keep the angles fresh and the frames interesting, something not easily done in a limited space. The stunning use of vast, open scenic locations conveyed their freedom from not only their four-wheeled safe haven, but freedom from the anxiety that has riddled so many people for so long.

Recovery was the perfect balm to a time that has left many of us hurting. It will make you laugh, cry, and definitely rethink getting pet mice. It highlights the most important things in our lives — our close relationships — and that even in the midst of a deadly pandemic, everything is going to be okay.

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By Kaity Co-Director
Kaity started with Harry Potter in second grade and it’s been a losing battle ever since, or maybe a winning one ... She lives in New England with a small herd of cats, two dogs, three chinchillas, and one daughter. You can definitely find her either watching anime, reading manga, or playing the same five video games over and over again. Contact:
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