Written by: Tara Karsian and Andrea Grano
Directed by: Andrew Putschoegl
Starring: Tara Karsian and Andrea Grano
Smaller film festivals such as the Waterfront Film Festival (WFF) formerly held in South Haven, Michigan, gives viewers the chance to see exceptional films before they are picked up and distributed. I had the pleasure to see one such film, “BFFs” a couple of years ago at WFF and finally, on June 3rd, 2016 everyone will have a chance to see what filmmaking is all about. “BFFs” will be available on VOD (Video on Demand). Take a chance on this indie—you won’t be disappointed!
“BFFs,” written by and starring Tara Karsian and Andrea Grano, look at friendship and their own relationships. When Kat (Karsian) celebrates her birthday with her family and her best friend Sam (Grano), the pressure seems to be on both of them as to why they aren’t married with children yet. Kat’s mom (Pat Carroll), is incessant with her cutting commentary, giving the gift of couples therapy to Kat and her now ex-boyfriend. Sam and Kat abruptly exit, pour a little more wine in the comfort of Kat’s apartment, and joke that they should go to this couple’s retreat and spa. After all, it’s already been paid for and who couldn’t use a weekend in the hills surrounded by luxury? The two, under false pretense, attend as a couple in trouble, but what they learn about themselves and each other is much more than they expected as the lines of their relationship are blurred.
“BFFs” gives viewers a chance to laugh almost incessantly at plausible yet crazy situations. Kat and Sam’s lies about one another as well as their situation dig them a deeper hole giving even more fodder for developing hilarious scenes. The two couldn’t be any more polar opposites, yet they know one another in a way that only best friends do. You see it in their reactions. You feel it in their non-verbal communication, and you hear it in their blunt, yet forgiving conversations. The viewer really gets to know each of them, but again, laughing the entire time. Set in a gorgeous retreat center, the leaders of “Closer to Closeness” take their jobs seriously. Each of the couples are there to work on some aspect of their lives together. Creating outlandish yet plausible exercises for each couple, all representing various types of relationships, such as climbing a pole or giving one another a non-sexual back rub in the evening allows comedic banter as well as a baring of the soul.
The script is tight; the writing is intelligent and insightful. The story unfolds rather eloquently as we watch these two characters develop and become more introspective—of course in a very funny way. The style of writing and the deft direction keeps you invested in the unpredictable story which is truly refreshing. Outstanding writing and directing are only a couple of pieces of a great film. The cast must be just as talented and this female duo of Karsian and Grano can do it all. They are able to portray the comedic nuances of seasoned improvisational comedians while maintaining the composure of a respected dramatic actor. Their timing and reactions, never over the top, but always believable, endear us to each of them while laughing aloud. There are also a few recognizable faces in the supporting cast. Carroll (Joan) doles out her matronly sarcasm and advice as only this talented actor could do. Richard Moll who you remember from the television series “Night Court” has a full head of hair as he portrays a suffocating and over-loving spouse. It’s an ensemble cast that seems to mesh perfectly into their roles, giving viewers 90 minutes of total entertainment.
“BFFs” is a memorable and realistically comedic film about two women, best friends, and relationships in life. Superb acting, writing, and directing brings the story to life reminding us what a movie is supposed to do—tell a good story, and tell it well. This, my friends, does just that.
“BFFs” opens on VOD (Video on Demand) through digital platforms such as iTunes and Amazon as well as OnDemand on Comcast Xfinity, Cox, and Time Warner Cable. To learn more about this film go to www.bffsthemovie.com
I had the distinct pleasure to interview Karsian and Grano recently. WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE
3 1/2 Stars!