entertainment

Jason Siegel stars in a drama about sugar-covered cancer

Jason Siegel stars in a drama about sugar-covered cancer

Casey Affleck and Jason Siegel in Our Boyfriend

Casey Affleck and Jason Siegel in Our Boyfriend
Photo: Gravitas Ventures

The opening scene of Our friend, A thin independent film created from the plot of a heartbreaking true story, finds husband and wife on the brink of a difficult conversation. It’s time for Nicole (Dakota Johnson) and Matt (Casey Affleck) to talk to their kids. Nicole, we’ll learn soon, sick, and although another hour had passed before the film reveals the specific nature of what they would disclose, the discussion clearly won’t be easy. At least they have one helpful instruction from doctors: Avoid euphemisms. Give them directly. Because there should be no misunderstanding about what is coming. They have to face reality head-on together.

There is a kind of irony in this In informational accuracy Introduction – an introduction that will be clear to anyone reading the source material, Matthew Teague, “Friend: Love isn’t a big enough word.” In his award-winning article, published in Respected In 2015, the journalist recounts the time he spent caring for his wife after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, as well as how his best friend, Dane Faucheux, moved to help through this impossible crucible for the family. It’s a relentlessly honest diary, blurring all the ugly details – medical and psychological – so much so that a truly sincere adaptation would be more disturbing than any horror movie released last year. Our friend This is not a movie. It’s sweet and includes and sometimes touching, but also eclectic drama, a lot Easier. This means that he treats the story itself lightly, and deals with the audience with children’s gloves by excluding the most unpleasant facts from the family’s experience.

Directed by Gabriella Copperthwaite, who minimized the punches in her documentary Black fishAnd the Our friend It doesn’t deviate much from the Teague account because it equips it with a fresh look and certain glamor from the Indiewood franchise. As the title suggests, the focus is partly on Dane (Jason Segel), a close college friend of the couple who offers to stay at their home in Alabama for a few days after Nicole’s diagnosis – an arrangement that has become indefinite, with those days bleeding in weeks, months, then more than General, Dane basically stops (if not completely abandoned) his life in New Orleans to help care for their two daughters Molly (Isabella Kay) and Evangeline (Violet McGraw). The script, written by Brad Inglisby, introduces the structure of a flashback, detaching from current scenes of hospital visits and worsening circumstances to fill the history of friendship en route to a medical crisis.

In his essay, Tege makes few attempts to break or explain the sacrifice of the Dane: among other things, it is a terrifying and grateful tribute to his selfless friend’s insistence to be there with a glove full of heartache and horror. Absolute from a pure first-person perspective, Our friend Strains to understand you don’t always find: one can admire his dramatic theories – the faint suggestion that Dane’s endless support stems in part from a desire to give more meaning to his life, and a decrease in romantic or professional “success” – while still feeling that Siegel plays more of a saint than man. Flashbacks offer a dramatic backdrop but not a lot of extra dimension.

Our friend

Our friend
Photo: Gravitas Ventures

Siegel has, of course, spent a large portion of his career exploring the vicissitudes of masculine bonding, starting with Apatovian’s sweet, sweet novel. I love you man To the thorny friendship End of the tour. Perhaps not surprisingly so Our friend She skips her stride when focusing the relationship between Dane and Matt, finding conflict in its origins (the false alarm of romantic competition) and in its margins. Affleck, also in his cockpit: Four years after his massive Oscar-winning performance of crystallizing guilt and sadness in Manchester by seaHe’s playing another guy, drugged with unintelligible difficulty. (His voice, which ranges from whisper to mumbling, uniquely suits characters who are almost silently stifled by their feelings.)

distance Our friend It keeps us out of that pain, and never introduces the kind of window into the heart and mind of a TIG that can be written into its core. Is this a case of a complete story in its original form – a personal essay imperfectly cast in the cinema? The film’s performance is at its best when it is at its most specific, focusing on the dreaded inevitability of the disappearance of well-meaning friends when things get tough or moments of unofficial tragedy, like Matt who noticed what the braid is waiting to have to do it for him. daughter. Other times, Cowperthwaite’s approach suggests a kind of elegance: Rather than drowning us in the essential details, the film often flirts with a mysterious Maliki montage of expeditions on the bucket list and grueling smooches.

One begins to wonder if the historiographical structure is merely a way to postpone everything inconvenient in the Tege essay, such as a difficult conversation trying to avoid. The author wrote early in his article: “We don’t tell each other the truth about death.” “It is hideous. This is insulting. ”But Our friend The bloody detail spares us at nearly every turn, cleaning up a story whose strength stems, in large part, from her willingness to be very honest about what a Cancer can do to the body. Cowperthwaite hardly seems willing to weaken the image of Johnson, who has never lost her movie star glamor, even as her character – the most backward of the film trio – becomes unknown to who in her life. at One point, Nicole begins wearing a wig around the house to entertain visitors, and perform in good health rather than letting anyone see the reality of her condition. It is as good a metaphor as any method metaphor Our friend Eases his blows.

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