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Cashback (2006): So Here I Am Once More, in the Playground of the Broken Hearts…

Cashback (Sean Ellis, 2006)


photo credit: imdb

There’s really nothing about this poster that doesn’t scream “WATCH ME NOW,” is there?

The description at Netflix for Cashback actually refers to the short film Sean Ellis extended into this feature-length version, and concerns only a single sequence. It makes this sound like some sort of sexist science-fiction softcore; the movie, thankfully, has far more in common with Office Space than it does with some sort of interplanetary version of Gor.

photo credit:

Obviously, the cure for insomnia is huge amounts of sugar.

Plot: Ben Willis (Sean Biggerstaff from the Harry Potter franchise) has just been dumped by his longtime, and first, girlfriend Suzy (EastEnders‘ Michelle Ryan). Seemingly unable to create and having developed a severe case of insomnia, Ben takes a job working graveyard shift at a local supermarket. Eventually, he discovers another talent (or is it all in his head?): he finds himself capable of stopping time, wandering through the frozen landscapes to find inspiration for his artwork. (This is where the description comes in—he stops time during a shift and wanders through the aisles, undressing customers and co-workers alike and sketching them.) But all that, while advancing the plot in a couple of key scenes, takes a back seat to the inherent craziness of graveyard shift at a grocery store, as well as a budding romance with co-worker Sharon (The Pianist‘s Emilia Fox) that lands Ben in a bind when he runs into Suzy at a party.

photo credit: Listfilm

If Emilia Fox worked at my local grocery store, I’d get a job there, too.

It’s fun stuff, with a ridiculous but all-too-believable cast of co-workers to provide hilarity, a solid romance angle, and a crew who knows what they’re doing, headed up by director Sean Ellis (who would return two years later with the above-average The Broken). Unfortunately, the final sequence of the film takes a turn into the godawful, but it’s not enough to completely derail this otherwise delightful piece of work. ***



About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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