Mutual Appreciation review

Alan (Justin Rice) wants to start a mutual support group for young bohemians: something along the lines of “The Scrappy People’s Club” or “The Cool Inclusive People’s Club”. Founder members are his friends Lawrence (college lecturer, played by writer/director Andrew Bujalski) and Ellie (Rachel Clift), who lend a vaguely sympathetic ear as Alan puts together a new band and allows himself to be seduced by a student DJ. The obvious names to drop here are John Cassavetes and Eric Rohmer, and in certain circles Bujalski is being touted as the brightest new voice in American independent film. In actual fact, this black-and-white character piece makes a virtue of its modesty. The focus is narrow, but its scrutiny is absolutely unerring; we’ve all gone through hesitant, befuddled relationships like this without really knowing why. Cool, inclusive, scrappy people should definitely apply.

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