Friday, July 26, 2013

Best Friends Forever

Short synopsis:
Harriet and Reba – the titular “best friends forever” – embark on a road trip from Los Angeles to Austin.  Unbeknownst to our heroines, nuclear bombs detonate in 4 major cities while they’re on the road.

Notable actors: Brea Grant, Sean Maher

My thoughts:
I’m kind of cheating here, since this isn’t really a traditional horror movie.  But it’s set during an apocalypse, so I figure it counts.  Also, I make the rules around here.

 I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this film.  I knew it was an apocalyptic road trip movie.  And I knew that I liked Brea Grant (on top of her appearances in Heroes, Dexter and Midnight Movie, I was a big fan of her love-story/zombie comic We Will Bury You).  But that was about it.

As it turns out, I really loved this movie.  Easily the best, most unique road trip movie since Wristcutters: A Love Story (I’m not sure if I’ve ever proclaimed my love of Wristcutters in this space before, so let me take care of that right now: I love Wristcutters more than I probably should.  I credit Tom Waits’ involvement).  The premise is terrific, but it’s the two leads (Brea Grant & Vera Miao) that sell it.  They really seem like best friends.  They know each other inside-and-out, and yet there’s an underlying tension in every interaction they have. 

 But, in spite of that tension, there’s an obvious love they have for each other.  And that’s really what drew me in.  They were such opposites (Harriet is quirky, book-loving, reserved individual who just got out of a psych ward after trying to commit suicide, while Reba is a fun-loving, impulsive girl), yet they love each other so much.  Just watching their interactions was enough to keep me invested.  Through most of the movie, I knew that Harriet was harboring some pretty big secrets that would eventually drive a rift between them.  Even though that normally stresses me out, I was really looking forward to how they would resolve the conflict.  I knew that it would be hard to watch, but I also knew that they would eventually work it out.  Beyond that, I wanted them to work it out.  I’ve seen too many movies where I don’t care what happens between the characters.  In this film, I desperately wanted to see them work it out, because I knew their friendship truly meant something.  The world may be ending, but I knew they would be okay as long as they stuck together.  Nothing else really mattered.

Here are a handful of scenes I really, REALLY loved:

1. The scene where they get carjacked.  It’s amazing.  And hilarious.  To me, it’s the second funniest scene of the movie (I can’t talk about my favorite scene of the movie without getting into spoilers, so that might have to wait until a What Comes Next post).  Without giving too much away, they end up meeting up with the carjackers a little later in the movie as well.  And that scene absolutely killed me.  If they made an entire movie of the interactions between the girls and these carjackers, I would absolutely watch that.

2. The scene where they dress up like badass, post-apocalyptic chicks.  I love it.  First of all, it’s a mini-montage.  As a child of the 80s, I’m obligated to love montages.  Second of all, Reba’s outfit is very similar to Alice’s in Resident Evil: Apocalypse (the fact that Milla Jovovich is referenced before that scene is no coincidence), and I adore that movie.  Lastly, it’s exactly the kind of outfit that is to be expected in a movie about an apocalypse.  The fact that they pay homage to that scene is kind of amazing. It’s a definite nod toward the look of Mad Max.  I love everything about this scene, short though it may be.

3. The end of the movie.  There are a couple of moments to love about this.  They show a handful of recognizable scenes from the movie, sans Harriet and Reba.  It’s reminiscent of the end of the original Hallowee.  It’s beautiful.  After that, during the credits, we see the glorified adventures of our heroines after the events of the movie in comic book form.  I truly hope that they release an actual comic book for this.  (The comic scenes are courtesy of the incredibly talented Stacie Ponder at Final Girl.  If you haven’t checked out her horror movie blog/artwork, you really need to.  She’s amazing.)
There’s also a scene with Harriet running out of the library that is absolutely incredible, but I don’t really want to get into it here.  Spoiler territory and all that.

 There are times when it’s a bit cheesy, but I really loved this film.  It looks great.  It has a terrific soundtrack.  Great characters.  Great actors.  I’ve watched it twice now, and it seems like one of those movies that will only get better each time you watch it.  I’ll definitely be going back to it a few more times before the year is over. 
This is Brea Grant’s directorial debut.  I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Rating: 5/5

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