Friendship on Film

 

Who’s missed their friends? Hands up for most everyone, yes?. Now that most
of us are vaccinated and we can begin to spend time with the people we love,
there’s so much to catch up on. Most importantly, we want to make sure our
friends are well; not just physically, but mentally. We’ve missed out on so
much while being socially-distant. Now we need to bridge that distance.

Hollywood is hoping to bring friends together at movie theaters. Yes, there
are action films and lots of scary movies but two films I’ve recently watched at a theater
and one that I paid to stream have all honored the bonds of friendship. Not in
the fake Hollywood trope of friends who discover they really love each other
and now they’re going to be a couple. No. these are stories of true platonic
friendship.

“Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar” is the lightest of the
three. The two friends, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo wrote the screenplay and
cast their friends in this buddy film that plays like an over-long SNL sketch.
There are moments of glee in the sheer absurdity, with the best bits being the
conversations between the two comedians. As with so many star vehicles, there
seemed to be no director on set to gather the kids from the sandbox and focus
them on building the sand castle. Jetison the entire campy villain plot and
focus on the women and their journey of self-discovery and that would’ve been
enough. 2 Umbrella Drinks (🍹 🍹out of 5) Pay to stream on Apple TV, Amazon Prime and other streaming services.

“Together Together” dares question if a nerdy guy can navigate
single parenthood while trying to have a platonic relationship with the younger
woman he’s hired to be his surrogate. Ed Helms is perfect as the
socially-awkward man who’s desperate to be a Dad. Patti Harrison plays the
surrogate with wisdom and deadpan humor. She leads the way to establishing
boundaries to help this hapless man embrace his new life. I was left with a
bittersweet feeling knowing that once the baby has arrived, their dynamic will
change and the relationship might not survive. 4 bottles of formula (🍼🍼🍼🍼out of 5) Watch at a cinema or pay to stream on Amazon Prime, Apple TV and other streaming services.

“Here Today” takes it’s time to establish an unusual relationship
that began as a true story. Billy Crystal wrote the screenplay with Alan Zweibel. Crystal
directed and stars in this charming tale. I think people will see the film for
the pairing of a comedy legend with the up-and-coming comedy talent that’s the
spitfire, Tiffany Haddish. They’re delightful together. There are some slow moments,
particularly during the filming of the comedy show (clearly based on SNL) and a
side story about nurturing comedy talent. The cast is so warm and committed to
these characters that I found I was shushing my critical voice. Louisa Krause
is charming and sexy as the beloved wife. Her lingering presence makes the
anger and distrust that has broken this family believable and the struggle to
heal all the more urgent. A lovely tribute to the best quality of humanity,
selfless love 4 1/2 glasses of a health elixir (🍵🍵🍵🍵 1/2 out of 5) Watch at a cinema or wait for it to come to streaming services eventually.

So grab a friend. Head to an open cinema, wear your mask and then go have a margarita
outdoors. See your friend’s happy face and toast to your friendship! You deserve it.

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