There can be a lot of worry and discomfort in the experience of reuniting with friends we haven’t seen in years. Questions can be worrisome like; What are they like now? Will we all get along? Are they the same or grownup versions of what once was? It’s all daunting to see those same friends years later would definitely induce nail-biting anxiety in many. Such is the thought behind director Andrew Gaynord’s “ALL MY FRIENDS HATE ME“.
The film follows Pete (Tom Stourton), who is reuniting with his college friends for his birthday. The reunion gets off to a rocky start when Pete arrives to an empty house and waits for hours for his friends to get back from a pub. As the reunion progresses, Pete begins to wonder if his friends actually dislike him. We watch Claire (Antonia Clarke), Fig (Georgina Campbell), George (Joshua McGuire), and Archie (Graham Dickson), have an easy, comfortable time together, the kind of time that Pete can’t seem to fall back into. Granted they are all from the ‘posh’ crowd or what we in the U.S. call “The Trust Fund Kids”. Ironically, it takes place in an old-fashioned aristocratic mansion out in the middle of the countryside, replete with pheasant hunting. To make matters worse, they seem to have picked up a stranger at the pub named Harry (Dustin Demri-Burns), who dominates the party with his mere presence while being mercilessly hostile to birthday boy Pete and oddly jotting ‘notes’ in a small notebook. The cherry on top is the presence of Claire (Antonia Clarke), Pete’s ex-girlfriend who, according to the group, had attempted suicide just after their breakup, something Pete was not aware of, and is not as okay as she seems.
Among so many unspoken things, mysterious notes and out-of-context information, is the fact that none of them except for Pete seems to have grown up in any way, shape or form, making it difficult for all to be able to tell what is really going on. On the other hand, the film truly captures the discomfort and sensitivity Pete has with overly-familiar Harry, who is intent on making Pete miserable and the butt of a lot of jokes. But there is a lack of something more that while hard to put your finger on completely, it prevents the movie from being great. It’s a more sedate type comedy, rather than a side-splitting, laugh out loud type.
With its fine thread throughout of confirming the game between the “juvenile” and “mature” that lasts the entire film, the story is filled with awkwardness more than it is humour as we wonder if Pete is correct or just being paranoid. While again, a very different type of humour, ultimately, there’s something charming in its oddness.
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Tribeca Virtual screening of ‘’All My Friends Hate Me” ~ courtesy of ID-PR
“ALL MY FRIENDS HATE ME” DEBUTED AT TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL JUNE 2021