Cheers to Mim, a young woman hiding her drinking behind the glossy veneer of female empowerment. When a book about her addiction is published, she has to ask herself: wait… am I the used, or the user?
Mim introduces us to her perfect life, commanding the streets of New York and swinging on subway poles like she owns them. She’s magnetic, happy, successful, and the absolute life of the party. As she sips on a piña colada and reads a book, it begins to rain… first a drizzle and then an all out downpour. The reality we were sold is actually a fantasy. Not only that, but the book Mim is reading was written by her previous partner, Brian, a young Black man who is tired of making allowances for her behavior. The truth is that Mim weaponizes female empowerment to avoid examining her selfish behavior, particularly her burgeoning alcoholism. Their conversation explores the lack of trust between partners mired in addiction and the distinction between using a substance and using a person. Despite its dark subject matter and commitment to accurately portraying a woman at rock-bottom, FUN LIFE is an energetic, glossy, and stylish film.
Inspiration for this film came from being frustrated by depictions of women at rock-bottom in popular film and television. It drove me insane. Everyone loved The Queen’s Gambit, but why was Beth Hart’s rock-bottom drinking on a couch with her bra strap seductively slipping and her eyeliner still absolutely perfect? I can’t get my eyeliner to look perfect, even at my best. So my intention with writing, directing, and acting as Mim was to strip away any scrap of vanity and to accurately depict rock-bottom without the pesky male gaze rearing its ugly head. I also wanted to call out women, particularly white women, who hide their narcissism and addiction behind the veneer of empowerment and liberation. As an additional layer, I wanted to call out the toothless feminism that our generation has been sold and pinpoint some of the other intersectional social forces at play. The other facet of my artistic intention was to avoid wrapping up the story neatly. By pure coincidence, our first day of shooting FUN LIFE fell on my one year anniversary of getting sober. While I wouldn’t consider myself a Capital A Alcoholic, my relationship to alcohol is extremely complicated and I appreciate that everyone’s journey to sobriety is different. It’s also often an incremental process and takes a huge amount of humility and reckoning with shame and the disappointment of life. I wanted to show Mim at the point of possible introspection, but to leave the audience feeling uncomfortable at the final frame.
Shot in 4K Pro Res HD Color profile BMD Film FPS: 23.98 Aspect ratio 1.85