*. Being a short film, just over 20 minutes, you can cut it some slack for having a very simple message. Which is that the grass is always greener on the other side. Meaning it really isn’t. It’s just a trick of perspective.
*. So the young couple with kids have new neighbors who are even younger but have no kids and (thus?) enjoy fantastic sex in full view of everyone wanting to look in their window. Apparently they don’t approve of drapes. The couple with kids feel a twinge — I don’t think it’s really more than a twinge — of envy. They’re getting old, not having sex (or at least very much), and the kids are a drag. And now they have their very own live porn channel across the way.
*. As things turn out, however, the younger couple are not as carefree as they seem. In fact, they have reason to envy the couple with kids. You see? Be thankful for what you have in life and don’t go comparing yourself to others.
*. You can see what I mean by a very simple message. Trite even. But The Neighbors’ Window still effectively strikes the right note of sadness.
*. I lift an eyebrow at it winning an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, but writer director Marshall Curry (who had previously only worked in documentaries) introduces a couple of nice touches. I like how the window watching is seen (by the wife) as a metaphor for a porn habit, and how this is subtly underlined by her coming home to find her husband on his laptop alone. Then there’s also the Halloween decoration of a skeleton taped to the window that foreshadows the next turn in the story.
*. That said, this just doesn’t strike me as that accomplished or profound a short. There were angles that might have been introduced, like the pairing of voyeurism and guilt, that don’t get any play. Even at 20 minutes it seems a bit slow, especially with a median musical interlude that I didn’t see as having any real purpose. Well before it was over I got the point, and that’s all that I got.