Projects: shorty

Synopsis

shorty

In a neighborhood full of players, Russell (aka shorty) has no game on the court or off. His lack of height puts him at a disadvantage not only on the basketball court, but also in love - or so he thinks. A classic tale with an urban twist: Cyrano de Bergerac meets 125th Street in this romantic comedy set in Harlem, New York.

We begin on the neighborhood basketball court where the boys become men and the women are there to snap them up when they do. Russell holds his own until the beautiful Venus shows up; in attempting to impress her he embarrasses himself. Venus has eyes for Eric, the handsome, tall and muscular baller. When Russell is forced to sit out the game, Venus tells him that she is going out on a date with Eric and asks him to watch her son, Ty.

Later that day, Eric is on the phone with Venus and his rap is smooth, but we soon learn that he is being fed lines by the poetic Russell. In a deal to win Venus' favor, Russell has found himself in a Catch-22 whereby Eric lets him play ball in return for Russell's coaching him in wooing Venus.

Eric tries to avoid mistakes throughout his date with Venus, but on his own, he is vulnerable to being found out. Meanwhile, through a conversation with Ty, Russell comes to realize that he is in a no-win situation and when Eric contacts him for help, Russell sets him up for the fall. True to form, Eric alienates Venus who leaves him and returns home.

Venus is furious with Russell for allowing her to date such a man. In explaining to her his feelings, Russell unwittingly betrays that he was the one behind the courtship. He leaves in a hurry.

The next morning, Eric and Russell discuss the situation and the dynamics of relationships between men and women. Eric is a true player while Russell is a dreamer, a romantic. Eric has the body; Russell has the soul. Russell, realizing what is truly important to him, walks off the court, passing on the basketball game.

Venus confronts Russell and tells him that she knows it was him. She too has learned that even though Russell may not be the whole package, he is the better part of it. They embrace and walk off together, the possibility of romance following them.

Stills

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