Tribeca 2019: Lady Hater

Allyn Rachel as Sam Hardy in Lady Hater. Photo by Shiloh Strong.

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.

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

Lady Hater held its world premiere during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in the Shorts program.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.