For fans of The O.C. and Gossip Girl, Susanna Fogel’s directorial debut is sure to spark interest, since it features cast members Leighton Meester and Adam Brody. After six years on Gossip Girl, it’s understandable that Meester would want to distance herself from her couture-clad socialite character Blair Waldorf, but it still comes as a surprise to see her wearing tank tops and knit caps.

In Life Partners, Meester’s Sasha seeks a romantic partner she can get along with as well as her best friend, Paige (Community’s Gillian Jacobs). Sasha is a receptionist and aspiring musician who can barely make ends meet, while Paige earns a decent living as an environmental lawyer.

When Paige gets engaged to Tim (Brody), a comedy-quoting dermatologist, Sasha feels more like a loser than ever, which makes her defensive and cruel. The scenario plays like an extension of the female friendships in Obvious Child and Wild—to the extent that I expected Gaby Hoffman to drop by at any minute. If the gay-straight alliance provides the hook, Fogel prioritizes the way adulthood can fracture a bond forged in youth. Despite a few moments of sitcom silliness, Meester and Jacobs bring that struggle to relatable life. recommended