Review: Band Aid

Band Aid
7 10

PLOT: A bickering couple (Zoe Lister-Jones & Adam Pally) reinvigorate their marriage when they start a band with the kooky neighbor (Fred Armisen).

REVIEW: BAND AID is the directorial debut of actress Zoe Lister-Jones, best known for CBS’s “Life in Pieces.” A fun, indie-flavored comedy drama, very much along the same lines as something like the recent JOSHY or THE OVERNIGHT, it played to a solid reception at Sundance earlier this year. Lister-Jones really does make a good case for herself as a strong new indie comedy voice, a nice change-of-pace as there are so few women really given the opportunity to make these kinds of movies, with Leslie Headland (BACHELORETTE) being a notable exception.

BAND AID benefits from the female perspective on what could otherwise have been a clichéd rom-com, with both Lister-Jones’s character and Adam Pally’s falling into familiar “types”, with her high-strung, and him the lovable slob. Both sides are given equal weight, and while maybe Pally is portrayed as a little too thick-headed at times to have believably won her over in the first place, neither is focused-on as the one at fault as the relationship goes to pieces. They’re both a mess, although not beyond reconciliation, provided they both grow up.

The vibe is laid-back and easygoing, very much a West Coast indie thing where it feels like a bunch of sitcom stars got together on the weekends, with their friends, and make a nice little movie. It’s easy to digest, and packed with cameos from familiar faces, like Lister-Jones’s TV co-star Colin Hanks, Erinn Hayes, Ravi Patel, Hannah Simone, Retta and more. The biggest marquee name here is Fred Armisen, as the creepy neighbor who turns out to be a born-drummer, and while he’s playing a somewhat caricatured character (especially in regards to his surprise sex addiction, with the gorgeous Jamie Chung as one of his sponsors), he’s used sparingly. The focus never really leaves Pally and Lister-Jones, which works to the film’s benefit.

One they start up their band, the movie goes down pretty well, with the songs cute and upbeat, and having enough actual craft and talent behind them that it doesn’t feel completely insane for them to start thinking about playing live shows. My only gripe is that, for most of the film, you never really believe their marriage is in trouble as they seem so ideally suited to each other, with the eventual thing that threatens to rip them apart coming out of nowhere. Still, you root for them to patch things up, and while it’s never in question whether or not they’ll make it work, you won’t mind going along for the ride.

Overall BAND AID is another solid example of how rom-coms, while dead on a studio level, have become a niche in lo-fi indie cinema, where things don’t have to be so cookie-cutter, and where the leads can be a bit more personable. It works well, and should find a receptive audience, especially once it makes its way to a good streaming platform, where it’ll make a great date flick for cooler-than-average couples.


Source: JoBlo.com



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