Band Aid


New American Cinema | 2017 | 94 minutes

Stranger Says:

It’s strange the way movies can make you like people who would annoy you in real life. The married couple at the center of this surprisingly affecting and well-modulated feelings comedy are archetypal white millennial trash: a failed writer/Uber driver and a half-assed graphic designer who live on the east side of Los Angeles, smoke tons of weed, can’t/won’t fuck each other, and generally feel mordantly disaffected from their ever-more-successful contemporaries. Then Anna (writer-director Zoe Lister-Jones) has the idea of forming a band and transforming their recurring arguments into songs. It’s a thin premise that goes a long way because the songs are pretty good and the performers are game and credible. Midway through, you look up and realize you weirdly care about these people because they’re funny, and suffering is relative, and empathy exists in the world. Fred Armisen is very good as the band’s weirdo neighbor-drummer. (SEAN NELSON)

SIFF Says:

Anna (Zoe Lister-Jones, Life in Pieces) and Ben (Adam Pally, Making History) are a married couple in trouble. Neither have lived up to their true potential: she an aspiring novelist-turned-Uber driver, he a graphic designer who would rather sit at home playing video games. When their marriage counselor suddenly moves to Canada, leaving their troubled marriage in therapy limbo, they have no outlet to work through their increasingly frequent emotional, verbal battles. But then Ben has a potentially great idea: start a band and turn their fights into music. Reluctantly roping in the skills of their recovering sex-addict neighbor Dave (Fred Armisen, Portlandia) on drums, they create songs that are simultaneously peppy, caustic, and perhaps a bit too TMI―on the lighter side, they have a song about their shared love of Papa John’s Pizza; on the darker side, the hummable hit “I Love You (But I Don’t Want to Fuck You).” But open-mike nights can’t fix deeply rooted problems, and the sins of their shared past make for an uncertain future. Lister-Jones, in her solo screenwriting and directorial debut, has fashioned a dramedy that’s honest, authentic, and deeply funny, with an ensemble filled with comedy mainstays, including Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Hannah Simone (New Girl), Retta (Parks and Recreation), and Erinn Hayes (Children’s Hospital).

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Film Credits
Zoe Lister-Jones
Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally, Fred Armisen, Susie Essman
SIFF 2017