The directorial debut of writer, director, and editor Carrie Ansell boasts a premise of Warholian, or at least Kevin Smithian, simplicity: It takes place entirely inside a pair of bathrooms where singles of both genders meet to chat, strategize, and work out their various neuroses. Populated almost entirely by unknowns, Flushed unfolds as a series of sometimes-interrelated comic vignettes, ranging from a Woody Allen-esque nebbish wrestling with his sexual identity to a boldly empowered woman who has discovered the pheromone-related secret to attracting men. Like a lot of micro-budgeted indie films, Flushed owes a huge debt to both the chatty, scatological comedy-of-the-mundane of Smith and the gentle comic sociology of Richard Linklater. Unlike most of its independent peers, however, Flushed does right by its influences while maintaining a spunky, defiantly feminist sensibility all its own. Like Smith's best work, Ansell's film is frank, funny, and brash. Like Linklater's best, Flushed betrays a benign curiosity about human nature as it documents its singles' quirks and foibles with compassion and insight. With its abundance of shtick-infused comic chatter, the film occasionally threatens to turn into a glorified cinematic stand-up routine, and even at 77 minutes, it has a tendency to drag. But Ansell's generous comic spirit pulls Flushed through its occasional rough patches, making it a smart, endearing sleeper and an enormously promising debut.

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