The new short dark comedy Fill Your Heart With French Fries sees a young woman who gets dumped by her girlfriend become a social media sensation when she refuses to leave a fast-food restaurant.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because it was inspired by the saga of Tan Shen, the Chinese woman who spent seven days in 2014 inside a KFC after she got dumped.
The story resonated with queer filmmaker Tamar Glezerman, who wrote the script for Fill Your Heart With French Fries after going through a rough breakup of her own a few years later.
“The story stuck with me because it’s very poetic, and it’s equally funny and sad,” Glezerman told The Front. “I identified with it in the way that I think anybody could identify with that state of mind—of being so torn up, you cease to know how to be a person anymore and just sit down.”
In Fill Your Heart With French Fries, various characters approach the heartbroken heroine to offer comfort, advice, or even admonishment. She gradually cycles through all the stages of grief while inadvertently becoming increasingly famous on the internet: At one point, a man offers her a sponsorship deal if she’ll endorse his emotional “prophylactic,” which allows women to have sex without catching the “sexually transmitted disease that is love.”
While the pain of a breakup knows no orientation, Fries’ exploration of society’s response to public grief is filtered through a decidedly queer lens.
“I’ve always made work that features LGBTQ characters dealing with not-exclusively LGBTQ problems,” Glezerman tells NewNowNext. “I do that because I’m hoping for a world in which identity, accent or ethnicity don’t have to be explained of justified. Or at least no more so than a straight while male’s identity would.”
As an example, she cites a scene from the The Good Wife, in which a gay couple was seen holding hands in a wide shot.
“They were never returned to or explained. They were just holding hands in a way a hand-holding couple of straight extras would. That’s exactly where I hope TV and film are going.”
“Representation in stories is so important to humans,” says Glezerman, who directed J. View’s sapphic video for “Don’t Pull Away.” “and is such a building—or reinforcing—block of identity. I’m thrilled that this conversation is more alive now than ever.”
Watch Fill Your Heart With French Fries below.