An ironic juxtaposition of contexts makes for the main conceit of this little short film. We see painfully adorable faces of British schoolchildren smiling for school pictures while the photographer berates them about the unpleasant realities of adult life (what he calls a "reality check"). The grumpy photographer makes the children repeat phrases like "the banking crisis means I'll never afford a home," and asking them if they've filled out their tax returns. Each time the photographer succeeds in wiping the smile of the children's faces, which appears to be his main objective. He meets his match in a girl with curly red hair who refuses to stop smiling. The photographer becomes visibly annoyed, shaking his head head and telling her, "Look, I'll go on all day," before explaining the painfulness of a divorce. But the girl eventually wins the little stand-off, and continues to smile. The photographer finally concedes defeat and takes the little girl's picture.
The film is adorable and memorable because it takes advantage of the specific pleasures allowed to short film: that a small, obvious conceit can become the subject of the entire film, and function as an effective punch line because of the short film's conciseness. It's impossible to imagine a feature that plays entirely on the tension between the innocent beaming faces of children and the cynicism of an adult with a chip on their shoulder, but here, in the span of two and a half minutes, the joke works. The way the children are shot too, where they are framed by the camera as if in a school photo, adds to the preciousness of their responses to the grouchy photographer.