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Film / One on One

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"I'm right here, Sarah."

One on One (a.k.a. One on One: A Superman Story) is a 2012 fan-made short film written and directed by Jake Thomas, and starring Erin Brown and John Nagle, originally debuting on YouTube on September 29th, 2012.

Set in the Superman Universe, the short film follows the story of an unnamed runaway girl, who visits a park in Metropolis. While there, she is engaged in conversation with a reporter named Clark, who claims to be writing a human-interest story, and wants to interview her. Through their conversation, Clark forces the girl, whom they agree to call "Sarah", to reexamine her faith in humanity. The title refers to their conversation, which takes place entirely on a park bench, with no other characters appearing.


One on One provides examples:

  • Armor-Piercing Question: Clark is quite fond of these. The most piercing being "But you are pregnant?"
  • Androcles' Lion: Implied to be the end result of the interview.
  • Angel Unaware: You probably guessed it from the moment he sat down on the bench, but Clark is not just the handsome reporter he appears to be.
  • Bag of Holding: Jokingly referenced. Clark remarks that Sarah's is so large that she could fit a whole closet inside.
  • Beware the Superman: Completely averted. He's nothing but kind and genuinely goes out of his way to try to help those in need.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sarah is still homeless, pregnant, and out of money, but she has had her faith in people restored, she has quit smoking, and it's heavily implied Superman is watching over her to ensure everything works out for her. Goes hand in hand with "Ray of Hope" Ending.
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  • The Cape: Much to Clark's dismay, Sarah utterly refuses to believe that such a person could exist in reality.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: And she gets more anxious when she can't have one.
  • Clark Kenting: The Trope Namer himself appears, and he does a fairly decent job, pitching his voice higher than normal, using an baggy raincoat to disguise his physique, and he trademark glasses to obscure his face. That is until the end, of course.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: Along with the above, but effectively used, especially the loose-fitting coat to hide his Heroic Build.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Sarah is convinced that "Superman" is a media hoax, despite being in the city he protects.
  • Disappeared Dad: Only implied with Sarah's child, but Clark quickly picks up on it.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Despite (presumably) living in a world of Aliens, Vigilantes, and Demigods, Sarah refuses to believe in Superman's existence, not because of his abilities, but because no one that selfless could actually exist.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Implied by the final shot.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Never brought up, but then again, we don't know the laws in Metropolis governing this subject.
  • Hand Wave: Of course Clark put the lighter back "When you weren't looking."
  • Hope Is Scary: The view Sarah holds upon coming to Metropolis. Clark disabuses her of this idea.
  • Intrepid Reporter: He notices looking girl in the middle of a park and tries to start up a conversation despite her wanting nothing to do with him.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Sarah's immediate reaction to a strange man trying to engage her in conversation in a city park.
  • Must Have Nicotine: One of many reasons Sarah is on edge throughout the interview, as Clark begins the conversation by deliberately keeping her from indulging.
  • No Name Given: Both characters. "Sarah" is simply an alias the protagonists suggests for the article, while "Clark" never tells her his name, which is only given in the official synopsis.
  • Power of Trust: Clark really wants to impart this idea to Sarah, and seems to be at least partially successful in the end.
  • Real After All: From Sarah's perspective, as she refuses to even admit the possibility of Superman's existence, believing it to be a hoax perpetrated by the media. Clark proves her wrong in this assumption in the end.
  • The Runaway: The protagonist.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Clark makes it out of a large park and in about 3 seconds. Maybe he's been learning from a certain other vigilante?
  • Super Speed: How the lighter gets back in Sarah's pocket.
  • Teen Pregnancy: And completely nonplussed when a complete stranger calls her on it, despite her having no visible signs of it.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Sarah's outlook seems to greatly improve by the end.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The lighter that belonged to Sarah's father.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Sarah really doesn't want to talk to Clark, at least at first, and therefore twists her past to be open to interpretation instead of outright statements.
  • Up, Up and Away!: Naturally implied by the closing shot.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: The central theme behind the work, and what seems to be Clark's main motivation for beginning the conversation in the first place.
  • You Are Not Alone: "I'm right here, Sarah." Doubles as a Sarcastic Confession.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Implied to be the reason Sarah is on the run. Later confirmed when she reveals her birth parents are dead, and she never felt accepted in foster homes.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: How Clark comes off to Sarah, due to her cynicism.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: There are no villains in this story, just a girl in trouble and a guy who wants to help.
  • A World Half Full: Clark's main viewpoint that he tries to impart to Sarah.
  • X-Ray Vision: Probably the way Clark discovers Sarah's pregnancy. Although, given his array of special skills (he may have heard the baby's heartbeat), he may have been joking, after all in his words "It doesn't take X-Ray vison."


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