Review of “A Simple Ad” (2019)

from YouTube


This is a very short film inspired by a six-word micro-short story attributed to Ernest Hemingway.

The opening credits roll over shots of a bookcase with family pictures—a baby, a little boy, and a wedding, among others. The viewer hears “Suo Gan,” a lovely traditional Welsh lullaby sung by the Choir of King’s College. It ends on a pink memo: “Fuck C.”

Sara (Adria K. Hernandez) sits at a word processor trying to type an ad while John (Juan Carlos Hernández), her husband, makes noise working on a skateboard. When she complains that he’s distracting her, he apologizes and says, “I just want to make sure the next person who rides this doesn’t break a bone or something.”

What makes this film is the final scene. The actors aren’t even facing the camera, which focuses on the ad Sara has just taped to a light pole. The skateboard is a symbol of hope the couple had for their son. They can laugh and joke; it doesn’t hide their grief. They love each other. They are together.

I found this lovely and poignant, as short as this was.

“A Simple Ad” can be watched here.

Edited to add (belatedly…): Full disclosure: the writer of the film is an old friend of mine.

Title: A Simple Ad (2019)

Directed by
Juan Carlos Hernández

Writing Credits
Alex Diaz-Granados

Adria K. Hernandez…Sara
Juan Carlos Hernández…John

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

5 thoughts on “Review of “A Simple Ad” (2019)

  1. Reblogged this on A Certain Point of View, Too and commented:
    This was the first screenplay I wrote that made it from page to screen, and because it is so short, it was…challenging…to work on. It was supposed to be a two-minute film (which would have required a two-page screenplay), but I’m not that good a writer, so the result was a film with a running time of 3:41, which is almost four minutes…

  2. Thank you, Denise, for taking the time to review “A Simple Ad.” It’s not easy to write a screenplay for such a short film, especially if – like me – you don’t have any formal training in film production or screenwriting. As it is, this was supposed to be a two-minute short, but I couldn’t produce anything that brief.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: