For a short film about two people going at it through a pane of glass, director Morgan Krantz’s short film, Squeegee, has surprising depth.
In a world where social distancing is the norm, a film about two people who discover an emotional connection without coming into physical contact seems eerily poignant. In September of 2019, however, actor and director Morgan Krantz (who you can watch on Netflix’s In the Dark) didn’t see COVID-19 coming. Who did? Instead, Krantz was focused on themes of loneliness and social detachment so common in modern society. It was those themes that helped form the basis of Squeegee. Well, that and a chance meeting in Toronto at the end of last year.
“The real inspiration was meeting Blair McKenzie, who stars in the film and is a real-life window washer,” Krantz told The Model American. “I knew I wanted to make a film around this guy before I even knew his first name. He’s a real charmer.”
That’s undeniably true. Though a novice, McKenzie can smolder with the best of them. As an object of lust, he gets the job done capably. However, the real onscreen joy of Squeegee comes from the veteran on the other side of the glass. Actor Amy Rutherford throws herself into the action with reckless, captivating abandon, and as a result, it’s hard to take your eyes off her.
When Krantz pitched the idea to Rutherford, he says she was initially hesitant. The director said Rutherford was “rightly concerned with all of the bad versions of this idea … It is an idea which can go South, quick. It’s easy to envision the ‘the sexy window-washer’ as a forgettable SNL sketch. Or the porno version of the idea (these exist, I checked).”
While the filmmakers worked to avoid creating something sleazy, Krantz was concerned with depicting an adult encounter, as well. “I was also concerned with playing it too cute, too twee. We finally realized that the key ingredient to avoid these traps was imbuing heaps of emotion into the characters’ relationship. Because real emotion is what these other versions don’t have.”
Two committed leads, a touch of whimsy, an utterly charming score from Emmy-winner Ali Helnwein, and — as the man said — whole heaps of emotion elevate Squeegee from a silly sex comedy into an evocative look at loneliness and sex in the modern world.