With friends like these…
Mutual Friends, the concept, started off with an interesting idea. Have a handful of writers craft separate stories involving the same characters and then craft those stories into a screenplay.
One problem with that idea though is that each set of stories has a different voice. That wouldn’t be such an issue if any of those voices were remotely entertaining.
Directed by Matthew Watts, the story, which takes place over the course of a day, is about a group of New York City thirty-somethings who eventually come together at a surprise birthday party.
You’ve got the dreamer, the realist, the romantic, the spurned lover, the this guy and the that girl… Each character has their particular ‘thing’ and quirk that’s supposed to make us either relate to them or like them because they’re just so darn cute. Hey, this guy wants to be a time traveler! How sweet and pure!
They’re all self-absorbed with themselves and they’re all commitment-phobes. And we’ve got no real ideas why most of them are except that they’re 30-ish and live in New York City. It must be the law there.
They characters, as written, struggle to be so witty and unique that the few times there’s a real moment you drink it up. Those real moments are courtesy of Cheyenne Jackson who plays Christoph. It’s his birthday and his fiancé, Liv (Caitlin Fitzgerald, who’s also very good here), has planned the surprise party in question. Jackson grounds every scene he’s in and I wish he had been in more of the film because he’s terrific.
Cast: Caitlin Fitzgerald, Peter Scanavino, Cheyenne Jackson, Michael Stahl-David, Christina Cole, Ross Partridge, Michael Chernus, Jennifer Lafleur
Writers: Matthew Watts, Frank Angones, Jessica Sue Burstein, Craig DiFolco, Ross Partridge, Olivia Silver, Amy Higgins
Director: Matthew Watts
On VOD now