15th Nov2016

Napa Valley Film Festival Review: ‘Second Nature’

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Collette Wolf, Sam Huntington, Carollani Sandberg, Carolyn Cox, Riley Shanahan, Angela Andrews, David M. Austin, Mary Bayley, Angela DiMarco, Stefan Hajek | Written by Michael Cross, J.C. Ford, Edi Zanidache | Directed by Michael Cross


Second Nature couldn’t have found its place in the world at a more opportune time (What with Trump vs Hillary and all). A balls out funny as hell comedy about a woman who against all the nay-sayers is going to run for Mayor against a womanizing, no morals and for lack of a better word Ass-hole who thinks the job is already sewn up. Seems standard right?? Well no not really throw in a Magic Mirror and some Freaky Friday gender swapping and you have Second Nature.

Without jumping into spoilers though, the kicker is this… It’s not our main characters who have swapped roles like in most of these movies. It is the world around them!

Set in the small town of Louisburg, a shall we say “Freak Accident” befalls the Mayor. Upon his death it becomes a race to the position between Amanda (Collette Wolf; Hot Tub Time Machine, Interstellar). Amanda has all the best intentions for the town. She wants to protect the citizens including her grandmother. However she must first overcome her opponent Bret (Sam Huntington; Sully, Superman Returns, Fanboys) Bret thinks he has the whole thing sewn up, loved by all at the city council and a real ladies man. They get into a heated argument one night while Amanda is holding her grandmas “magic mirror” and the roles of men and women are swapped leading for some pretty hilarious results. Which actually turns Second Nature into a somewhat social statement at points.

First time writer/director Michael Cross has brought an extremely well thought out and accomplished fresh take on the whole gender/body swap genre of movie in a way that I was surprised by if I am honest. Second Nature has a great cast of characters that all have there moments to shine. A special mention to Carollani Sandberg who plays Amanda’s best friend Nat, she is hilarious in this movie. Wolfe and Huntington have a great chemistry and the laughs in this movie just keep on coming and at a cool 80 minutes it never has time to outstay its welcome.

Produced by Nicholas Gyeney under his Seattle-based production banner Mirror Images Ltd (Beta Test, Matt’s Chance, The Penitent Man); Second Nature had its world premiere at the Napa Valley Film Festival on Thursday November 10th 2016. The film is expected to be released across the US in 2017.


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