Elliot (Will Dennis), is an entrepreneur who is strictly by-the-book. His days are scheduled by the minute. He took a chance and gave up a career as a consultant to develop an ice cream delivery app in which users literally scream their orders into their phones. Needless to say, it’s not going well.
Kimmie (Kelsea Bauman) is a wannabe stand-up comedian who is nothing if not a free spirit. By day she works at a bakery and by night as a cam girl. Kimmie meets Elliot when she buys his van. While they say opposites attract, perhaps Kimmie and Elliot are too far apart on the spectrum and when Elliot makes a move on Kimmie, she turns him down.
But that changes soon when Kimmie’s boss has to close down the shop due to a rat infestation, she tries to sell the van back to Elliot. However, Elliot desperately needs the money for his app. What ensues is one long first date in the form of the road trip to New Orleans to sell the van.
Filmmaker Will Dennis’ Vanilla is a sweet and quirky comedy about being true to yourself. Elliot and Kimmie are well-defined characters. Kimmie is stand-offish, always trying to protect herself from being too vulnerable. Elliot is just too nice for his own good. Dennis, who directed, wrote and starred in the film, finds many ways to work ice cream into the plot. There are some quirks I found to be a bit too ridiculous including the storyline with Elliot’s mom and the I Scream for Ice Cream app. With that said, Vanilla has a lot of charm and is a tasty treat for summer.
Vanilla is available today on VOD from Gravitas Ventures.