Thursday, November 16, 2017

Band Aid - Stop Your Messing Around and Sing a Little Song

Sometimes the name of my game is procrastination which means I add movies to my iTunes wish list and then never get around to watching them. This week, I noticed that Band Aid was the 99 cent rental of the week and it was also on my wish list. Needing no further incentive I jumped right in to see what I thought of his indie with a interesting premise.

Band Aid drops us into the a timeless domestic fight about who should be doing the dishes. Anne (Zoe Lister-Jones who also directed) and Ben (Adam Pally) argue about everything it seems. If this opening argument is any indication, they are fast moving, witty and self aware arguments. I would not have been surprised if the two had stopped mid way and broke into laughter, promising to get together again soon for an exercise in comedic improv. However that's not the case. Their's is a marriage in crisis. Therapy, smoking too much pot and other distractions are not working. The movie's main plot is set up when Anne decides that since they both love music, they should turn their worst arguments into songs and see if that might be an actual way to talk about what they're obviously not talking about. You see, there are most definitely heavier things going on than who does the dishes.

What follows is a sometimes off balance mix of comedy and drama. On the comedy side, we meet the slightly odd neighbor, Dave (Fred Armisen) who helps them out as the drummer in this little therapy session turned into a band. I truly love Fred Arisen's dry style and it worked here really well. Although I have to remind myself every time that I am not watching a sketch from Portlandia. Anne works as an uber driver while nursing a side career as a writer; so there is some successful observational humor with her passengers. For example we have in the credits "uber obnoxious"", "uber annoying" and "uber quiet". My favorite is Uber Obnoxious played by Colin Hanks. The music provides a bulk of the humor. Adam Pally and Zoe Lister-Jones play off of each other really well and make these scenes look as if they must have been quite a bit of fun to film. The songs themselves, while not a soundtrack I would buy, are relatable to anyone who has ever been in a relationship.

We do find out about the personal tragedy that took Anne and Ben's marriage off the rails. Essentially she is grieving and he is deflecting or as he says "managing his emotions in an appropriate way" (don't ever say those words to your significant other who is in tears, by the way). The layers are peeled away and the lighter tone is traded for short spurts of raw, emotional scenes followed by more music numbers. However this time it less about fighting and more about communicating.

Final thoughts? I wan't too familiar with either Adam Pally or Zoe Lister-Jones but will keep the names in my mind because they are fantastic and would be happy to watch either in future projects. If you're like me and ok with fast moving, dry humor served up with a little angst, then give Band Aid a try.