Lady Hater is a smartly written comedy from Alexandra Barreto that challenges the gender norms that come with being a woman.
The gist of the film is that Sam Hardy (Allyn Rachel) is a “guy’s girl.” When the yoga class turns out to be a seminar to find the goddess within, it really hits a nerve. She’s not really into the things that people would describe as girly. Oh, yes, this includes brunch and shopping. If you dare go against brunch, watch the other women turn on you! It’s enough that seminar leader Premstar Moonbeam (Natalie Zea)–a beautiful woman herself–tells Sam to go. This ends up starting a class riot!
Shorts tend to work the best when they have minimal cast. While Sam and Premstar are front and center, this film works because of the ensemble cast. The duo may get the meatier material but everyone in the cast has something to say. Shout out to Almarie Guerra’s business woman for asking if the goddess within can “live inside of a trans woman.”
Lady Hater may be the most feminist short that I’ve watched during Tribeca this year. The film is also a personal film with roots dating back to the Women’s March in 2017. While the initial premise was for a feature film, I’m now interested in seeing the feature-length film. Writer-director Alexandra Barreto certainly presents a strong message in this film. Barreto shows some promise here as a director and I look forward to seeing where her directorial career takes her. For a short that came together in under two weeks, it’s a very solid and well-directed film for the first-time director.
In short, the big takeaway from Lady Hater is that there’s no right or wrong way to–well–be a woman. This short comedy is another strong contender for the Solzy Award for Best Live-Action Comedy Short.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Alexandra Barreto
CAST: Allyn Rachel, Natalie Zea, Debi Bradshaw, Almarie Guerra, Teri Wyble, Alix Angelis, Mo Beatty, Sara Davenport, Chris Lee, Nyaling Marenah, Vivian Martinez, Naomi Murden, and Chris Solari