Video Review: Dan + Shay “How Not To”

Joe says he’s “been sober for over 3 years and 4 months now. And I just got a promotion.” The people in the Alcholic Anonymous group clap for him. He says, “I couldn’t do it without the help of everyone here. I really appreciate that.” Tim calls on Sophie (Katie Stephens). Sophie sighs and says hello. She tells the group. “I’ve been sober for one day. But it’s 7 (pm) so I still have 5 hours to screw it up.” Noah (Pierson Fode) laughs while the rest of the people remain quiet. Sophie continues, saying, “I’ve never been to one of these before, so…” Tim and the group clap for her. She and Noah smile at one another.

Noah sits on his bed and smokes. A twentysomething woman zips up her pants and leaves his bedroom. Sophie pours some liquor into a water bottle in the kitchen. A twentysomething man knocks on Noah’s door and looks up at his window. Dan and Shay perform at the bar while Sophie drinks as she sits at her table. She serves a fiftysomething man and woman their breakfast at the diner. Behind the counter, she pulls out her water bottle and drinks. She nods at the fortysomething woman, a server, as she walks to another table.

Noah stands in the shower and screams as the water hits him. Sophie lies in the bath. She argues with a second twentysomething man. Noah sits in his car and talks with his mom. The sales clerk at the gas station watches him as he walks to the beverage aisle. Sophie smashes a lamp. She passes out at the diner. Noah takes a liquor bottle and drinks from it in the beverage aisle. The clerk confronts him and he shouts at him. The owner of the restaurant questions her bottle. She pushes him and leaves.

Noah and Sophie’s families say “surprise” as they open the door. A cake on the table reads: “1 Year Sober.” Noah and Sophie greet Dan and Shay. Noah tells her, “I wouldn’t be here without you.” She responds, “we wouldn’t be here without each other.” They laugh as they shop for groceries. Back at home, they play cards. She feeds him French fries. They stand by the sink together and pour out their liquor bottles. At the meeting, he tells her it was a good joke and introduces himself.

Rating: 5/5

Sophie studies for an exam at the kitchen table. Noah squeezes her arm as he walks by her. He gives her a kiss on her cheek. She turns to kiss him and says her brain is fried. Noah runs his hand over his 1 year chip in his pocket. Sophie was doing well. She was passing her classes to become a nurse. In another year, she’ll graduate. But will she still want him? She’s going to be around doctors all day.

Noah pauses at the bottles of liquor at the convenience store. One sip wouldn’t hurt. It wouldn’t even count. He opens the door and reaches for the can. At the counter, he pays for it. Sitting in the counter, he opens the bottle. He places it on his lips and puts it down. Taking out his cell phone, he calls his sponsor.

Sophie orders water from the server at the bar. The twentysomething woman asks her, “you don’t want to drink anything? It’s been a rough semester.” She explains she’s allergic. The twentysomething woman gasps, “how terrible.” The second twentysomething woman laughs, saying she’d take every shot in the world in order to drink again. Sophie digs her fingers into her palm as she shifts in her seat. The last time she was at the bar, she made out with a fortysomething man in the bathroom and vomited in the parking lot. Sophie says she has to go, saying she has to meet Noah. They tell her to say hello to Noah. Sophie walks to her car. It wasn’t who she was anymore. She calls Noah and lets him know she’ll be home soon.

Director: N/A Year: 2017

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place