Level 33 Entertainment’s new dramedy Worst Friends is one of this year’s best new indie flicks. This movie is a surprisingly entertaining work. It is more proof that when the dust settles from Hollywood’s downfall (thanks to its insatiable desire for prequels, sequels, and remakes), the indie movie industry will still be standing strong. The main way in which it proves that is through its original script. The story behind this movie isn’t just another buddy comedy. It’s a story that is just as entertaining as it is moving. What’s more, in comparison to other buddy comedies released by other indie flicks and even other major studios, this story stands well apart from those works as its own creation. And that’s just part of what makes it work as well as it does. The story’s overall simplicity makes it even more enjoyable. There are no big sets, no unnecessary sexually driven jokes, and not even an annoying poppy song to be heard at least until the story’s final scene. The movie’s cast is one more reason that it works as well as it does. Save for actresses Kathryn Erbe and Sara Chase, most of the movie’s cast is made up of unknown actors and actresses. Even as little experience as they might have, they come across just as professional as any more seasoned actors, Erbe and Chase included. Together with the story’s overall simplicity and its largely original script, all three factors show in full once again why Worst Friends is one of this years best indie flicks and a work that anyone thirsting for a real story should see at least once.
Level 33 Entertainment has released in recent years some of the best movies that most audiences have never seen. The Wedding Video, The Formula, and The Moleman of Belmont Avenue are each examples of what makes this studio one of the best in the world of indie flicks. Every one of those movies stands out from the other in its own special way. Now with Worst Friends, Level 33 has proven once more why it is deserving of that honor. One would think in looking at the movie’s synopsis that it is something of a buddy comedy, especially in partner with the movie’s box art. But the reality of the movie is that it is more drama than comedy. The movie’s original script is one that stands out not only from other movies released by Level 33 but from so many movies released by Hollywood’s “Power 5” studios–Paramount, Universal, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and Disney. It is a deep, thoughtful story that reminds us that BFF is not always the case for friends. We live, we grow, and sometimes we grow apart. Audiences will especially appreciate that writer/director Ralph Arend and his writing partners Noah Barrow and Richard Tanne don’t waste any time waxing poetic about this message. They don’t waste any time trying to set up a back story, explaining what caused the original fallout between Jake (Richard Tanne) and Sam (Noah Barrow). The trio keeps the story simple but still manages to send the story’s central message in an original manner, but not so much that it goes over the heads of its audiences. It alone makes for plenty of reason to see this movie, even if only once. It’s not the only reason to check out this movie, either. Another audiences should give this surprisingly entertaining drama is its overall simplicity.
The script behind Worst Friends is the central point of the movie’s success and enjoyment. It presents a very deep story and some very deep themes in a fashion that avoids any stereotypical artsy indie indulgences. At the same time it isn’t presented in such fashion as to feel over simplified, either. It balances that serious approach with a delivery that is just simple enough to be taken seriously without feeling overly done. In other words, it isn’t so serious or simple as to make it seem stereotypically sappy or hammy. Speaking of that simplicity, the general simplicity of the movie’s other elements help to make it even more enjoyable. The sets are simple. The camera work is just as simple. There are no unnecessary sexually driven jokes. And unlike so many other movies of its ilk, this piece doesn’t torture audiences with a constant barrage of annoying pop and emo songs throughout the course of the movie. The movie’s final scene won’t be given away here. But that scene is the only one in which audiences are exposed to said musical backing. It is all kept to such a minimum that it keeps the story at the center of the movie. Arend, Tanne, and Barrow (as well as the rest of those behind the cameras) are to be highly commended for this. It makes the movie in whole that much more enjoyable for audiences. It still isn’t all that is worth considering in the movie’s success, either. One more aspect worth noting in the movie’s success is its cast.
The actors and actresses that make up Worst Friends’ cast are largely unknowns. Perhaps the most well-known of the movie’s cast are actresses Kathryn Erbe (Law & Order: CI, The Mighty Ducks, What About Bob) and Sara Chase (The Other Guys, Arthur, The Little Black Book). Fellow cast mate Larry Fessenden is known for his work in the world of horror movies. But by and large the movie’s cast is made up of unknown actors and actresses. Even while most of the cast might not be known for major TV series or movies, the cast is collectively just as convincing any more well-known actors and actresses. They come across as being just as seasoned as said individuals. Audiences will see this when they watch Worst Friends for themselves. Together with the movie’s overall simplicity and the script’s originality, this last aspect shows in full once more why Worst Friends is one of this year’s best new indie flicks. It shows why it is a good watch for anyone that is tired of the seemingly endless Stream of prequels, sequels, and remakes being churned out year after year by Hollywood’s “Power 5” studios.
The aspects noted here each play an important role in their own right in the success and enjoyment of Worst Friends. Given, they are important in their own right. That is not to take away from the importance of the movie’s run time. The movie runs roughly an hour and fifteen minutes. That is far below the norm of most of the big name movies churned out by Hollywood’s “Power 5” each year. Yet with such a short run time, the movie still accomplishes so much. It plays its own important role in the movie’s success and enjoyment, too. That aspect taken into account with everything else previously noted pushes Worst Friends over the top and makes this movie not just one of the year’s best new indie flicks, but potentially one of this year’s best new movies overall, too.
Worst Friends is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other releases from Level 33 Entertainment is available online at:
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