BAND AID – A Review by Cynthia Flores
Usually, the rule of thumb is if a film is not rated (that's what an NR rating stands for) it’s because it’s vulgar beyond the norm for Hollywood. It pushes the boundaries in some way of what most people call regular films versus straight up pornography or some other bloody gross thing. This film Band-Aid, is the exception to that rule. My guess is that they didn't want it to go up for review of the rating board because they would have gotten hit on the fact that the lead characters smoke pot, do hallucinogenic mushrooms and drop the F-Bomb a bit. The story is set in current day Los Angeles so what else do you expect. Besides you have to like a movie that starts with the line from a husband defending himself to his wife standing in front of a sink almost full of dirty dishes, “It’s one dish!”
Band Aid is the directorial debut for its star Zoe Lister-Jones who also wrote it. For a first time film it's not very long, only an hour and a half, it's also witty, timely, and I'd say a solid first-time-out project.
Basically it's about her view on modern love for early thirty-something’s within marriage. Anna (Zoe Lister-Jones) is married to Ben (Adam Pally) and they bicker and fight constantly. On the advice of their marriage counselor, they look for a way to work on what has been at the root of all their fighting without going “round and round” yelling at each other. They’re both creative types, she’s an “almost writer” that makes money driving for Uber and he’s a graphic artist that works from home, surely they can think of something that will help, right? The solution they come up with, to start a band, is inspired by a jam session they have stoned out of their minds at a friends children's party where he rocks out on toy instruments and she sings on a toy mic.
They start a band not to become rich and famous but to be able to write down what they fight about and turn it into songs and hopefully get a chance to perform them live. The first day that they clean out their garage to make room for practicing, their creepy neighbor Dave (Fred Armisen) asks them what they're doing. He gets weirdly excited and lets them know that he's a drummer slash percussionist. it's obvious he wants to join the band but he won’t come right out and ask. Once he leaves the couple laughs about the fact that he's probably a serial killer and they don't want him in the band. However, as all people starting a band find out, “We need a drummer” so with hat in hand they knock on weird Dave's door and the band later to be called Dirty Dishes is born.
It’s fun to watch the evolution of the songs most of them are hilarious. Being in the band gets them out of the house together, gets them back into being creative again, and to act more loving to each other. If this whole film were only about starting a band to write clever songs about being married then it would be an epic fail, but it’s not. Remember all the fighting that was going on in the first place, well most of it came from the fact that over a year has passed since Anna was pregnant and she lost the baby to a miscarriage. That’s the deeper side to this film that fits in well with the silly songs, it's about this couple dealing with their grief before it tears their marriage apart forever. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a great comedy but it does touch on a sobering topic.
Band Aid is a cool film that has great music. What I also liked about it is it seems like anyone that’s in a hit TV comedy show is in this film. Actors like Ravi Patel, Chris D'Elia, Hannah Simone, Erinn Hayes, Jessie Williams, and Colin Hanks are in small parts and in walk on scenes that took them probably two hours to shoot. You’ll spend half the movie pointing to the screen and saying “Oh my god that's so and so from that TV show I love”. Which makes me believe that if you're a comedic actor in Hollywood, of a certain age, you must all hang out together and just chill out. Which is what you should do this weekend when you go to see this film. Grab your significant other and laugh at the fights they have because they sound just like yours.
Directed by Zoe Lister-Jones
Written By Zoe Lister-Jones
Selig Rating: B+
Running Time 1hr 31min
Limited Release June 9th Magnolia to wide release
Starring: Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally, Fred Armisen