Working in tandem with Kyle Mooney, likewise a member of the Good Neighbor sketch comedy troupe, Beck Bennett has carved out a place on Saturday Night Live in recent seasons with some quirky, pre-filmed comedy bits. But Bennett does some worthwhile solo work as well, as evidenced by “How To Lose Weight In 4 Easy Steps,” a creative and entertaining new short film made for Jash that’s directed by Ben Berman and written by Aaron Bleyaert. The video takes the form of a weight loss and fitness tutorial by a mattress salesman named Christopher (Bennett), who aims to cut back on sugar and carbs in his diet and get in better shape. Steps one, two, and four are all pretty common-sense diet suggestions. But the film spends most of its seven-and-a-half-minute running time on the crucial third step: “Have Your Heart Broken.”
Bennett’s character, it turns out, is in emotional free fall after being dumped by a coworker (Britt Lower of Man Seeking Woman) whom he must still see every single day, making his very existence torturous. To distract himself from his heartache, he throws himself into a life built around trips to the gym and eating grilled chicken on a very regular basis. All the while he keeps up a brutal, self-punishing internal monologue that sounds vaguely like something from Fight Club. Bennett’s life gets stranger and stranger, until even a very creepy cameo by Conan O’Brien as a fellow gym rat seems like par for the course. “How To Lose Weight” is more optimistic and forgiving than some of Bennett’s SNL pieces, and the lovesick mattress salesman does eventually start putting his life in some kind of order. Silly as it is, the film is ultimately redemptive and encouraging. Plus, the diet and exercise tips seem solid.