Why Not…

Why Not… is a very short “short,” between five and six minutes, of which close to half is credits.

It’s a simple enough story (not surprisingly, given the length), but I don’t think I fully got the point.

A couple is arguing in a restaurant, apparently about the man’s cynical take on life. He defends himself and says he’s never going to change anyway. The woman says she needs him to show some hope, some faith, some playfulness—something. She settles on an ultimatum: She will break up with him if he doesn’t pick a penny up off the floor and make a wish on it. He resists because he thinks it’s silly, but eventually he picks up the penny just to placate her. It has the desired effect, the fight ends, and they leave the restaurant arm-in-arm.

While he’s holding the penny, there is a brief surreal sort of sequence where we see all the (mostly unhygienic) places the penny has been in its history.

OK, so what’s the point? That artsy sequence has to be there for a reason, so is the idea that they think they’ve safeguarded their relationship when in fact all they did was handle a germy coin that’s going to give them some disease? Is the point that the man will be punished with sickness for violating his principles even in this frivolous way?

That seems like a stretch.

About all I took from Why Not… was that the relationship dynamics were such that the woman “won” by threatening to break up unless the man submitted to her will by doing a symbolic gesture he didn’t believe in. She didn’t really get him to substantively change his attitudes, change his philosophy of life; she just showed she had enough power in the relationship to change his surface behavior.

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