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'Number 2' is a first rate comic drama
Some of the most beloved films are ones which deal with the difficulties faced in real life accompanied by a dose of comedy. Life itself is a series of pendulum swings, the trick of which is navigating the back and forth without losing one's sanity. It's no revelation that this is very challenging for teenagers.

It's as uncomfortable to state as it is to read but, the film Number 2 is delightful in its depiction of one teen's battle with Crohn's Disease. The story in no way mocks the difficulties the disease brings and yet takes some wide liberties in communicating how to deal with it. There's a large dose of humor and heart that tempers the main character's struggles. Number 2 contains comedy elements but it is very much a story about the choice to let obstacles define us or to define our own identity.

Eric is a normal teen. School, girls, aspirations of greatness playing drums in his rock band, these things compose his day to day but when he awakens from a colonoscopy he is informed that he has Crohn's Disease. As the effects of this disease begin to surface, Eric's normal life takes some very uncomfortable turns. Most high schoolers struggle with identity and a sense of self-worth in "normal" circumstances; the discomfort and stigma attached to Crohn's Disease begins to overtake this young man's existence.

One of the cleverest and endearing facets of this film is the decision to not go for the easy laugh. By connecting the uncomfortable effects of Eric's least favorite thing (Crohn's Disease) to that of his most beloved (drumming) the creators of the film have subtlety communicated that life never offers us one hundred percent good or bad; it's always a combination and playing the odds is your only respite.

Specifically, when Eric's Crohn's Disease forces him to make a fast exit to the men's room or in the midst of an attack, drum beats rather than bowel sounds communicate the direness of the situation. The crescendo of percussion is ironic and yet perfectly accentuates the stress of this young man. The comedy in the story does not come from bathroom humour but rather the situations Eric is thrown into because he always has to rush to the bathroom. Even though he is surrounded by his friends (Phil and Steph) and sympathetic mother [Renae], Eric is most definitely alone in dealing with what his life has become.

Synonymous throughout the film are Eric's affliction and his solace. The majority of the film's moving (no pun intended) moments happen in a rehearsal space and a bathroom. Production Designer for the film Bhargavi Anganarasu worked diligently with director Cal Moreno and her team to manifest the ideal sets for the film to convey Eric's emotional state at different key moments. The unstated impact is striking in the film. Whether in different bathrooms or rehearsal rooms while playing his drums, the atmosphere communicates that Eric only feels truly at ease when he is by himself and in control of his surroundings. This may not be as he desired for his life, but it is his reality. One of the drum performance scenes in particular recalls the angst and frustration of Whiplash. The intensity and controlled/redirected anger consumes Eric and elevates the "temperature" of his drum room in emotion. 

Revealing the goal of the film, director Cal Moreno states, "Number 2 is a film about realizing that everyone has problems and it is important to continue to live your life how you want to live it. As serious as chronic illnesses can be, it's also important to laugh about it sometimes. I really think we have the opportunity to make an impact on others with chronic conditions, as well as the friends and family who have to deal with it second hand."

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