Review: Mutual Appreciation

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Justin Rice, Andrew Bujalski and Rachel Clift in Mutual Appreciation
Justin Rice, Andrew Bujalski and Rachel Clift in Mutual Appreciation




A micro-budget black-and-white indie drama, written and directed by one of its co-stars, Andrew Bujalski, who plays the college lecturer graciously helping out old school friend and budding rock musician Alan (Justin Rice) after he relocates to New York. Failing to commit, being vaguely rubbish, avoiding maturity, just sort of drifting about, that’s the over-riding atmosphere delivered by Bujalski’s bittersweet second film, after the highly influential Funny Ha Ha. His inspiration would appear to be the naturalism of early Jim Jarmusch, the awkwardness of Woody Allen, and Bujalski is keen on situations where what is not said is twice as powerful as what is. Embarrassment looms large too, inevitably, so anyone who’s ever been to a gig where almost no one shows up, or remembers the evening they kissed their best friend’s girl/boy, this one’s for you.

© Steve Morrissey 2006


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Mutual Appreciation (2005) Comedy | 109min | 4 May 2007 (UK) 6.7
Director: Andrew BujalskiWriter: Andrew BujalskiStars: Justin Rice, Rachel Clift, Andrew BujalskiSummary: Adults in their 20s circle each other, their bodies in motion, with occasional attractions and lots of talk. Alan is a musician, just down to New York from Boston, hanging out with his friend Lawrence and Lawrence's girlfriend Ellie. Alan and Ellie are on a bed talking: is this prelude or possibility? Sara, who has interviewed Alan for the radio, seems attracted to Alan, but Alan may not be so sure. They, too, sit on the edge of a bed. He has a gig; it goes well. How should he handle Sara? Has the moment with Ellie passed? Do things play out or does time merely pass as bodies move through space? Written by <>


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