Thursday, 29 May 2014
Best Friends Forever (2013)
This was the first movie project I ever backed on Kickstarter, way back in April 2012. There were issues with getting DVD production, however, which means that I only recently got a copy of the film. I bumped it up to the top of the viewing queue because I like to support independent films where I can, and I was hoping it would be good.
And it is pretty good, actually. Certainly many levels above a film like The Sky Has Fallen. Which proves a decent film for comparison purposes, since both pictures focus largely on two people, and their interaction as they travel together, with occasional interruptions where they encounter other characters. They also share a post-apocalyptic edge, though it's much more backgrounded in this movie.
Harriet is a comic book artist who is leaving LA to begin post-graduate studies in Austin, Texas. She's driving to her new home, and her best friend Reba is coming along for the ride. Reba's less than thrilled that her BFF is leaving her, but she's loyally doing the best friend thing.
What throws a crimp in their plans (other than a secret Harriet is keeping) is the sudden detonation of nuclear weapons in multiple US cities. It's some time before either of the women knows this has happened - they somehow miss the mushroom cloud that rises in the distance at one point - but they begin to experience the fallout pretty quickly.
The metaphorical fallout, that is. If they were in the real fallout, they'd either be very dead or Bethesda would be suing them.
Increasingly perplexed as to the lack of functioning phones and the aberrant behaviour of the few people they meet on the road, the two women press on with the journey. Sooner or later, however, they're going to discover what's happened, and it is then that their friendship will really be tested.
So it's very much a story about friendship. Don't go into it expecting a punky action flick. In this respect, I think the DVD cover is a mistake. It's a nice picture, but I think it gives the impression of a different movie to the one they actually made.
The cast is all solid, as is the script: you can see this was made by people who understand how films work. I do think they could have tightened it up in a few places (the gas station scene goes a little long, IMO), but it's funny when it means to be, and only when it means to be. No unintentional comedy here.
If you're interested in seeing a sometimes darkly humorous story about the friendship between two women who are dealing with the end of the world, Best Friends Forever has you covered.