Training Wheels – Sundance 2022

Alison Rich appears in Training Wheels by Alison Rich, an official selection of the Shorts Program at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. Photo by Arlene Muller.

Nearly a month after taking home a Solzy Award for The Other Morgan, filmmaker Alison Rich premieres Training Wheels at Sundance.

Her sophomore short is a 15-minute comedy about a socially inept woman, Enid Yarmis (Alison Rich), renting a man, Ricky Mountain (George Basil), in order to prepare for another man, John. Hence, the film’s title! But anyway, that’s the gist of the film in a nutshell. Even though the website allows for discreet dating, Enid is even more discreet by only wanting to pay in cash. Enid rents Ricky for the 48-hour period before going on a first-date with John. Basically, we get a crash course in relationships although the fake fight turns into a real fight between the two of them. I couldn’t stop laughing when the film reached this point. It turns out that Ricky has some vulnerability issues of his own and he opens up to Enid about them.

If you’re familiar with her first short film, prepare for even more laughs in Training Wheels. The idea of using someone to practice on before the real thing isn’t a new concept. However, I love the way that Alison Rich approaches things in the film. Even though the cast is minimal, you almost forget that Training Wheels was shot during the pandemic–just before the Delta surge to be exact.

With two short films to date, Alison Rich is showing herself to be quite the talent behind the camera. Both concepts of her first two films work quite well as shorts but I would certainly love to see what she can do with a feature film. It’s only a matter of time before Rich stars tearing it up as a feature filmmaker. I certainly can’t wait to see what she writes and directs next.

CAST: Alison Rich, George Basil, Jack Cutmore-Scott, Zeke Nicholson, Kathy Yamamoto

Training Wheels holds its world premiere during the 2022 Sundance Film Festival in the Short Films program.

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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.