Acting. Job interviews. Spying. Vampire Mermaids. It seems like an odd collection of elements in a movie, but nonetheless Sarah Warren’s East-London shot debut covers them all. Starring in the lead role as Julie Robert (whom people confuse for Julia Roberts), Warren encounters many bizarre scenarios in this quirky, comedic film.
MLE (short for My Little Eye) is a film conceptualised by Warren, who wrote, directed and starred in it, and charts the journey of Robert as she moves to a new country alongside her best friend Camilla (Julie Sype). The two are set up to star in the lead roles in low-budget movie ‘Vampire Mermaids Go To Heaven’, until funding is suddenly pulled (not really surprising), leaving Robert without a job or any future career prospects. Robert’s day is made increasingly worse when she almost runs over a woman named Bella on her way out of the studio (Jo Price), who offers Robert a job to essentially spy on her step-daughter named Joy (Deidre Garcia) to see what she is actually spending their money on. All out of options, Robert takes the job and that’s where things get interesting, and begin to descend into lunacy.
Sarah Warren is introduced as insanely likeable, and the character of Julie is eccentric and ridiculously loveable, with her penchant for puppets and cake making her stand-out amongst the urban backdrop. Warren is in her element writing about funny women, and the comedy style is similar to more frank female-buddy films, with Warren’s distinctly self-deprecating humour and remarkable chemistry with Sype being one of the more notable elements of the movie. The two undoubtedly shine when together and their dialogue is some of the more humorous on the film, hitting the comedic mark effortlessly. The type of self-telling story through puppets that Julie has is an intriguing element to the film, which gives it a sense of true heart and makes the whole piece more quirky and relatable. These factors help to elevate the film above your average docu-drama.
Whilst some of the jokes and humour in MLE don’t quite soar as they should, the film is a smart showcase of Warren’s talents and has enough originality and uniqueness to see it safely through its 1hr 38 minute running time. Documenting the reality for a working woman in the 21st century, MLE. is exceptional at highlighting the socio-economic struggles of people in today’s society and the exploitation of women in industries whilst sealing it with a more humorous and sweet bow to help others digest the bittersweet taste of today’s reality.