The names Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestro are names of actors you may or may not be aware of. If you are aware of them, it’s probably not for the best reasons. Yeah, I’m talking about the 2004 film, The Room. Thanks to his brilliant book, The Disaster Artist, midnight screenings of the film and a biopic based on the Sestro’s book – these guys have taken what could have been terrible and build careers on this single film. Fast forward, 15 years, the duo behind the Citizen Kane of awful filmmaking are back at it. Enter: Best F(r)iends: Vol. One.
Best F(r)iends: Vol One tells the story of Jon, a local drifter, who befriends a mortician named Harvey who weirdly enough go into business together. Can I brag on Greg Sestro for a moment? This dude delivers strongly. Not only as an actor within the film but also the screenwriter. He completely destroys whatever audiences saw of him in his previous works. F(r)iends truly solidifies him as an actor who can deliver.
Even further than that I have to brag on director Justin MacGregor. MacGregors’s visual eye for detail not only gives numerous layers of depth to the film; but also bring the film into the arthouse genre.
Wiseau plays a charming and honest to goodness hilarious role within this film. In his previous work, I feel like he was laughed at for things that just didn’t make sense – where as here, he is genuinely hilarious.
Another thing about this film that I truly wasn’t expecting was the visual nature it brings with it. Thanks to director, Justin MacGregor, this cinematic wonder brings with it a flurry of sequences that are littered with beauty. Not to mention, these sequences also partner gorgeously with an amazing soundtrack by Daniel Platzman. MacGregor crafts a world of wonder and mystery that will leave some of Hollywood’s biggest films green with envy.
The pacing of the film is another strength. Blending together heart, humor and a visual wonder – it’s strengthen only by its’ storytelling. Crafting a weird and wonderful plot of these once strangers going into business together – I won’t ruin what the actual business is. It’s one element of the plot that allows F(r)iends to have an original voice and keep you glued to the edge of your seat. The pacing and unfolding of that plot is a thing of genius.
However, I will have to say you will need to wheel the stretcher out for some portions of this film. As beautiful as this film is to look at and live in – it becomes a bit much by the middle of the film’s second act. These frequent montages make the film feel a bit choked in some pieces. Which is my catch 22. They make the film beautiful to look at but they existent way too frequently. Making certain portions of the movie feel like entries into a short film competition, rather than adding depth to the overall story. There are even times where the tone of the film feels uneven. I applaud the boldness and unique identity of the film, but these moments kind of take away from the final product.
Overall, Best F(r)iends: Vol. One, is a strong start to an even stronger story. With a genuinely funny and charming performance from Tommy Wiseau and career changing performance by Greg Sestro. It is only bested by the visual aesthetic of the film. Delivering bold and beautiful arthouse sequences accompanied by a strange and haunting soundtrack that stays with you long after the credits finish – Justin MacGregor is a fantastic up and coming director. The pacing of the film is strong but a bit drunk at times. Over delivery of the gorgeous montage sequences make the F(r)iends feel wobbly at times. Accompanied with a strong soundtrack, a terrific plot – Best F(r)iends: Vol. One is a film worth your time and investment.
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