Mutual Appreciation

Rated NR

This film about a young musician and his young friends hanging out in the hipster mecca of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has a refreshing DIY quality. Justin Rice does a great job as Alan, who wants to start a band and be famous and make love to pretty girls who like him and his feelings. Meanwhile, his friend Lawrence (writer/director Andrew Bujalski) is muddling through graduate school and mooning over his socially networked girlfriend, Ellie (Rachel Clift). There’s a plot about a romantic triangle, but mostly, the film is about capturing the speech patterns of contemporary 20-somethings. It does this with a disturbing verisimilitude. I’ve never heard so many “ums” and “you knows” and “likes” in one script. On top of getting the vocabulary down, Bujalski’s script does an excellent job of capturing the uncomfortable, new-to-the-world style of joking and flirting that the fresh-out-of-college crowd evinces. Of course, like most rooms full of 20-somethings desperate to find themselves and be heard, Mutual Appreciation gets a little annoying after an hour or so, but it’s a promising first feature and a neatly real slice of life.

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