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The Independent Critic

Yelizaveta Rybalchenko, Ryan Fabry, John O'Connell, Brayden Curtis
Tayler Nicholson
13 Mins.


 "Lucky Strike" Screening at Seattle Shorts Film Festival 

It's now how you's how you bowl.

Yelizaveta Rybalchenko, who appears to now be acting under the name Lizabet Sorkin, is absolutely delightful in writer/director Tayler Nicholson's short film Lucky Strike that will be screening on Saturday, November 12th at 10am at the SIFF Film Center as part of the Seattle Shorts Film Festival's Cinematic School Block, a block of shorts from up-and-coming student filmmakers. 

While the film is in most ways your fairly typical teen/YA rom-com short turned life lesson, Lucky Strike achieves much more thanks to Rybalchenko's warm, winning performance and an ensemble cast that seems to understand exactly the right vibe needed to bring this material to life. The story centers around Dylan (Rybalchenko), a rather ordinary 16-year-old girl whose days are spent working in the family-owned bowling alley while trying to muster up the courage to talk to Parker (Ryan Fabry), a hotshot bowler who is popular with all the girls. 

Lucky Strike doesn't really go anywhere you don't expect it to go, but the film's the kind of feel good flick that film festivals love with solid performances across the board and dialogue from Nicholson that brings back memories of those 80's teen comedies that some of us were lucky enough to see on the big screen. If you were lucky enough to grow up with these films, you just short of light up whenever you run across a film like this one and I felt my spirits rise as the opening scenes played out and I could sense Rybalchenko shining like a Molly Ringwald in the night. While I'm old enough now to be her lovably dorky dad, there's still a soft spot in my heart for gals like Dylan and Rybalchenko brings that "girl next door" vibe beautifully to life. 

Edna Alejandra Longoria's original music captures that feel good, inspired vibe to perfection, while D.P. Kai MacKnight's lensing is warm and comfortable throughout. While Lucky Strike isn't necessarily the type of film that wins lots of awards, it is the type of film that wins lots of hearts. To find out more about the upcoming Seattle Shorts Film Festival, visit the festival's website

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic