Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Your Friends Neighbors|
Actors: Amy Brenneman, Aaron Eckhart, Ben Stiller, Nastassja Kinski, Catherine Keener
Director: Neil LaBute
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Educational
In the age of ever-increasing crassness on screen (see the Farrelly brothers' comedies), there are some filmmakers who can make serious commentary instead of just throwaway gags. Neil LaBute's second feature is a corkscrew... more »
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Justin Ratcliff | S.Pasadena, Ca. | 08/03/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Im confused. Are we supposed to like anyone in this movie? Are we supposed to believe that these people hung together long enough to fall apart in the time frame of this movie? The only character I even remotley liked was Cary (Jason Patrick) because he was such a complete vilain. Never once did he deviate from exactly the person he portrays. He is utterly dispicable, and in the scene where he reveals his best sexual experience to his friends Berry and Jerry, any posibility of liking or relating to the character is hopefully destroyed. All that aside, Cary accomplishes one task in this movie, other than atracting our enmity. He confronts Jerry's girlfriend (Terry?), and completely destroys her in the span of a single nasty sentence. You see, from the beginning, we understand that's she's completely self absorbed, and doesn't care about anybody. Cary is excessive, but that's also in keeping with his character, so somehow he's absolved, right?
So this movie is supposed to be dark is it? Well, okay fine, but here's the problem with that approach. When you isolate the characters from the audience to such a degree, anything dark they do loses its impact because we can no longer relate to them anymore. All I wanted to see was bad things happen to everyone in this movie, without acception. That may sound dark on my part, but they started it.
This movie is basically about 2 a--holes, and 3 cowards. 2+3= why am I watching this? Is this really a slice of the American social experience? Because I don't know anybody like this. Maybe the people I can't stand being around live like this, but that doesn't mean I want to watch a movie about them either. Two stars are given because at least this movie engaged me on an emotional level, but if I want to watch a bunch of people I can't stand, I'll watch the news. Read that how you like. Sure this movie is dark, but there's nothing organic about it, so it ends up feeling contrived, and ultimately pointless."
With the friends like Mary, Barry, Terri, Cheri, Cary and Je
Galina | Virginia, USA | 01/30/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Your Friends and Neighbors" (1998) is the second film by director/writer Neil LaBute and it tells the story of three couples and their complicated friendships and relationships. I've seen it more than once during the last couple of days - and I found it incredibly clever written, well acted (especially by Jason Patric and Catherine Keener - their only scene together was the second best in the movie - so dynamic and tight) and skillfully directed. LaBute certainly has a very unique sense of humor and he knows well the history of cinema. To give all characters the names that rhyme - Mary, Barry, Terri, Cheri, Cary and Jerry - was a clever idea - the characters are interchangeable in their relationships and it does not matter really, who is with whom - Mary with Barry or with Cary or Jerry or Barry with Barry, and Cheri with Terri or Jerry? The important thing is that they are selfish and often unpleasant and despicable people who are not happy with themselves and can't make happy their spouses or partners. Another interesting trick - the repeating scene in the Art gallery that starts with exactly the same words for each character but leads to different developments. I mentioned that LaBute knows his movies. Have you noticed the poster from Goddard's Le Mépris, (1963) aka "Contempt" with Brigitte Bardot? "Contempt" features one of the most fascinating and longest scenes of a breakup ever filmed. The breakup scene between Terri (Catherine Keener) and Jerry (Ben Stiller) started like in "Contempt" but it only lasted a few minutes and it was a good scene. Actually, I loved all scenes with Catherine Keener and if I have to choose one character that I liked, it would be Terry. Seems that Charlie Kaufman might have seen LaBute's movie because Terry and Maxine from "Being John Malkovich" have a lot in common. I was actually waiting for Terry to say to Jerry, "The thing is if you ever get me, you would not know what to do with me".
Jason Patric was a revelation - I don't know him very well but I remember that he gave a very good performance in "Narc". As for the scene in a steam room, it is not just the best of the film; it is one of the best scenes - monologues ever. I know not many would agree with me but the scene is as powerful, unforgettable and strangely erotic as the monologue in Bergman's "Persona". LaBute's writing, his camera, and mesmerizing performance by Patric made this scene an instant classic.
The film is not perfect and sometimes it drags but overall I found it interesting and enjoyable. You don't have to like the characters in order to like and appreciate the film. Sadly, the beautiful, sensual and talented Nastassja Kinski (Cherri) does not have much to play while Ben Stiller does and I am not his fan - even in this film.
LaBute's usage of "Metallica"s "Enter Sandman" (performed by Apocalyptica) during the opening and the closing credits instantly pulled me in and Bryony Atkinson's song "My Hollow" is terrific.
3.5/5 or 7/10
The Cast is simply great but it really doesnt have a point
Mike Bolts | Superior, Wi | 11/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Your Friends & Neighbors stars Jason Patric (NARC, The Alamo), Nastassja Kinski (One Night Stand, Little Boy Blue), Ben Stiller (Envy, Duplex), Catherine Keener (The 40 Year Old Virgin, The Interpreter), Aaron Eckhart (Suspect Zero, In The Company of Men) and Amy Brenneman (Heat, Tv's Judging Amy) about two couples, one obssesed stud and a art gallery assistant. Stiller and Keener arent having the greatest marriage. During Sex, Keener doesnt like Stiller to yell things and say things. Eckhart and Brenneman are also having trouble and when they have sex, when Eckhart wants to talk to her, she cant say anything. So, Stiller then has an affair with Brenneman and Eckhart doesnt know about it until Stiller tells him. On the other line, Stiller's wife Keener is having a lesbian affair with Kinski, the art gallery assistant because she knows that Stiller is having his own affair. Last but not least, there's Patric, who is so obsessed with himself he even records himself saying sexual things in a voice recorder, he listens to it while he does crunches...hmm, ok. This is anchored by the cast, they do a damn good job but this has no point and being that the cast is good, it doesnt matter. The women look sexy and gorgeous and Patric is dead on target with his role. "Is this part of the gallery or another collection?""