Mutual Appreciation Review

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A pseudo-slacker comedy about a love triangle between struggling rocker Alan, academic Lawrence, and Lawrence’s girlfriend Ellie.


Lo-fi movies starring, edited, written and directed by a one-man band should be approached with caution. Andrew Bujalski’s second effort is an improvement on Funny Ha Ha (reviewed
last month), but it too is hampered by conversations that sound slacker-hip but are bereft of insight. Wannabe musician Alan (Justin Rice) and his New York pals are charismatic in an offbeat way, but could only be called ‘cool’ in the way that Ross from Friends is cool. Just because you shoot semi-improvised scenes in black-and-white doesn’t mean you’re the new Jim Jarmusch. Bujalski has a distinctive style, but doesn’t have anything substantial to say.

Amiable but a bit pretentious