After so many centuries of eternal love, the phlegmatic attitude of contemporary people seems to have become a natural consequence of all those immortal, but quite cliché-like, romantic scenarios. ‘Greater Fool‘ is a cynical experiment about a world that no longer believes in Romeos and Juliets, in Tristans and Isoldes, trying to understand the mechanism that generates what we call love from a much more disenchanted perspective. Everything is chemistry, animal instinct, sexual performance – about these things, director Julia Strassmann speaks with frankness but also with much pain, trying in her short film to find that je ne sais quoi of emotion through an extreme cynical attitude. The final result is aimed at ambivalent reception: while the replies seem to be part of a stand-up comedy performance about the uselessness of romantic strategies, this project conceals, at the same time, a critique of modern individuals threatened by the inevitable process of dehumanization that prevents them from discerning the difference between appearance and essence.
Tommy is a hesitant young man who needs the advice of Stella, a seemingly famous person for her way of understanding the mechanism of love. In spite of his expectations, Tommy will not meet a balanced person to help him, but an atypical psychotherapist, addicted to alcohol and cigarettes, with a sarcastic and unusual professional speech.
The differences between the two characters defying the conventional pattern of the guru-disciple relationship will make you laugh, but your laughter will actually conceal the ugly truth of the world in which you live. Indeed, it is difficult to accept the supremacy of the scientific argument which, like the discourse of the character impersonated by Al Pacino in ‘The Devil’s Advocate’, condemns us to a mechanical existence conditioned by chemical reactions that generates the illusion of authentic emotions. Perhaps the great risk of modern thinking derives from the imbalance between intellect and spirit, which makes us believe that the great love stories of all history have been a series of masquerades. Still, Julia Strasmann’s project succeeds, beyond the sarcastic interface of the dialogue, to speak tenderly about an unaltered emotional core that still pulses into the depths of this world confusing love with sex. ‘Greater Fool’ is a trenchant film which lacks inhibitions and which surprisingly succeeds in exploring with cynicism and fondness human attachment, attacking the stereotypes of contemporary sexuality through which humans believe that passion, desire, and attraction are just hormone-powered chimeras. Hence, this succinct and intense project offers not only an effervescent and comic dialogue, but also a drastic reconsideration of how we relate to each other.