Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch, two of the three creators behind Hulu’s Remy, claimed the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival for On The Count Of Three. They toy with a conventional narrative here on mental illness and suicide in the film, as Val and Kevin carry out obligatory conversations about suicide attempts being cries for attention or help, and suicide not being the answer to problems they face. But by day’s end, the two characters have seemingly shifted their positions and drawn very different conclusions for themselves.

On The Count Of Three is not didactic, and thank goodness the filmmakers at least have the good sense to recognize that preachiness helps no one and solves nothing. But the film dumbs down a complex and taboo topic by placing blame squarely on bogeymen like bullies and abusers. The filmmakers don’t invest any time depicting what depression might actually look and feel like, so that those who suffer from it can recognize it, and those who don’t can empathize. And at a lean 86-minute runtime, the film could have benefited from the inclusion of moments of silence, contemplation, and solitude to help illustrate the characters’ mental state, and the anguish and circumstances that drove them into their positions.