SALAD DAYS is a must see. Not only for those who spend 75% of their daily activity checking their Facebook wall, stalking ex-partners, and enviously looking at the newest mobile uploads of their “friends.” No, SALAD DAYS is for everyone who has experienced the longing to belong and be grounded in the world; and everyone who still believes in the wonders of everyday life.
The filmmakers could not haven chosen a more appropriate title, for one's “salad days” describes the time of youth and innocence we are allowed to follow, and maybe nostalgically bemoan one’s fate, through the film’s three protagonists. Emily has fallen for one of her online acquaintances who regularly leaves her with messages almost too sweet to digest (“Beautiful without U would be misspelled”). Anticipating their romantic encounter in person, she expresses her daily emotional indulgence in video entries and is herein soon discovered by Anthony, another lovingly shy and socially awkward internet nerd. Meanwhile, Matt, a former school bully, struggles to get over a traumatizing breakup and become a better person. And while the characters appear almost too simple at the beginning, they slowly grow on us as the film subtly reveals the complex layers that define the first quarter of their lives. With the charm of an unpretentious DIY film, SALAD DAYS indeed succeeds to remind us of the familiar atmosphere of one's salad days. “Maybe we are all secretly creeps,” Emily philosophizes at one point. And yes. Weren't we? Aren't we? So true.
SALAD DAYS is less characterized by the wish to return to an “age of innocence,” but rather succeeds as a work of staggering humor. You will not want to miss out on co-director Jeff Mizushima's grand entrance through an incredibly expressionist dance performance, to name just one example. SALAD DAYS is as much a film about our geek generation embedded in digital technology and social media as it is a film about the tender relationships between people, and the emotional attachments we seek and build in our life — sometimes timidly, sometimes in detours, and sometimes unexpectedly fast.
Synopsis written by: Feng-Mei Heberer