The Pool Date is the first short to be screened. It's light and funny and gets you into the mood for what's to come next.
Fluffy, airy bits pop up now and then like a much needed drink among the darker themes that dominate shorts such as Teens Like Phil. Bullying and suicide enter the picture, and while such subjects are already heartbreaking enough, the short ups the ante by making the object of the main character's affections the source of his pain.
Homophobic bullying is a topic explored in many of the shorts. In Alaska Is a Drag, a disco ball and one man's dream to become a superstar lightens up the short's more serious themes.
The Hamster is Gay is another short that deals with bullying, albeit having a more satisfactory ending as the hero gives the bullies a taste of their own medicine (or urine, in this case). Special mention for the title alone.
Taboo and Where Are The Dolls take on a more serious tone to their narrative, while Bouddhi Bouddha is dreamy and feel-good.
The stand-out short for this viewer was Ursula's Victory. Creepy and unsettling, it starts off with Ursula digging at her father's grave, coupled with flashbacks of her really, really, really creepy grandmother who lusts after her butler, who in turn lusts after Ursula. What a winner.
Mixtapes ends with It Gets Bitter, a hilariously abrupt film that will make you leave the theatre with a smile on your face.
Overall, Mixtapes boasts emotional and sometimes unconventional story-telling. While some of the shorts left me feeling empty and confused, others fared much better in creating solid characters and unique narratives that absorbs the viewer.