Monday, January 25, 2021

Our Friend Review: A Poignant, Painful, and Powerful Family and Friendship Drama

Dakota Johnson	...	Nicole Teague Jason Segel	Jason Segel	...	Dane Faucheux Isabella Kai	Isabella Kai	...	Molly Teague (as Isabella Kai Rice) Violet McGraw	Violet McGraw	...	Evie Teague Casey Affleck	Casey Affleck	...	Matt Teague John McConnell	John McConnell	...	Glenn Hattaway Jeronimo Spinx	Jeronimo Spinx	...	Colleague #1 (as Jerome Spinx) Denée Benton	Denée Benton	...	Charlotte Jake Owen	Jake Owen	...	Aaron Jason Bayle	Jason Bayle	...	Rick Bragg Sampley Barinaga	Sampley Barinaga	...	Kenny Marielle Scott	Marielle Scott	...	Kat Lane Alexander	Lane Alexander	...	Elf Valet Ahna O'Reilly	Ahna O'Reilly	...	Gale Paige King	Paige King	...	Veterinarian

Release date: January 22, 2021
Running time: 125 minutes
Stars: Dakota Johnson, Jason Segel, Isabella Kai, 
Violet McGraw, Casey Affleck
Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Writers: Brad Ingelsby, Matthew Teague

After receiving life-altering news, a couple finds unexpected support from their best friend, who puts his own life on hold and moves into their family home, bringing an impact much greater and more profound than anyone could have imagined.

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite Writers: Brad Ingelsby (screenplay by), Matthew Teague (based on the article entitled 'The Friend' by)    Produced by  B. Ted Deiker	...	executive producer (as Ted Deiker) Rebecca Feuer	...	associate producer Michael Heimler	...	executive producer Brad Ingelsby	...	executive producer Michael A. Pruss	...	producer (as Michael Pruss) (p.g.a.) Teddy Schwarzman	...	producer (p.g.a.) Ridley Scott	...	executive producer Ben Stillman	...	executive producer Ryan Stowell	...	producer (p.g.a.) Matthew Teague	...	executive producer Kevin J. Walsh	...	producer (p.g.a.)
This film has a stellar cast that portray very real people.  Dakota Johnson is wonderful as Nicole, and definitely shows the her thirst for life and fun nature.  Casey Affleck as her husband, Matt is also very good, and shows someone who is working for greater goals and sometimes losing sight of what is right in front of him.  But the true star of this film is Jason Segel as Dane, who just transforms into this awkward, loveable, and caring person.  Segel's mannerisms completely change, and he embodies this character who also happens to the be the main focus of this complicated, heartfelt, and heart wrenching story.  And Segel has to tread a fine line because of Dane's quirks.  He has moments where you aren't 100% sure what his intentions are, which is a reflection of some of the complicated feelings in this situation, but he stays true to Dane throughout it all and is fully believable and loveable as this man.  And Our Friend is a complete package and just does everything right, with fantastic cinematography, acting, and music.

The story of this film is told out of order.  Normally I prefer things to be told chronologically for clarity and ease of following the story, but this film uses it to keep the movie interesting.  You get pieces of their lives throughout the years, and you learn more about the family and friend's predicament throughout.  Sometimes you see them after Nicole's diagnosis, sometimes before, sometimes well before.  It allows the film to jump between happiness and pain, joy and sadness.  If it was told chronologically, it might have felt more like a march to the inevitable conclusion, but with the way this film was constructed you get hints of all the emotions of life.  And this also allows you to see other individuals who are consistently in their lives throughout this difficult and beautiful time.    

And the overall film feels so real and raw.  It is based on a true story and seems to have taken few, if any, liberties with it.  The movie deals with an unimaginably difficult time in this family's life, from starting out, to financial and marital troubles, to ultimately the cancer, highlighting the strength of people and of friendship.  Although the film is really about Dane dropping everything in his own life to help his friends, the movie also highlights the strength of Matthew and Nicole as they also deal with this horrible scenario.  And despite any difficulties they might have, the strength of their relationship is highlighted beautifully before and during this time.  Honestly, I love everything about this film.  If it had been released a few weeks earlier it would have definitely made my top 10 for 2020.  As it stands, it will be on my early top 10 lists for 2021!  

Our Friend is a poignant, painful, and powerful movie about love, family, and friendship that feels so real and raw and should not be missed. 

Watch it.

Cancer Family Love Pain Painful Drama Movie Movies Heart Friendship Friend
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Our Friend is available digitally and on demand January 22, 2021.

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