This is one high-quality ‘Band Aid’

Zoe Lister-Jones makes a strong directorial debut with this fine film

Adam Pally and Zoe Lister-Jones in ‘Band Aid’

Our Score:

“We are not Groupies. Groupies sleep with rockstars because they want to be near someone famous. We are here because of the music, we inspire the music. We are Band Aids” – Kate Hudson as “Penny Lane” in the film Almost Famous

Tough love and brutal truth from strangers are far more valuable than Band-Aids and half-truths from invested friends, who don’t want to see you suffer any more than you have” – Author Shannon L. Alder

“Anna” (Zoe Lister-Jones – Lola Versus, Consumed) is married to “Ben” (Adam Pally – Night Owls, A.C.O.D.).  Something happened to them that we don’t learn about until much later into the film that overshadows their lives.  Neither is working at what they want to be doing and that isn’t helping.  Naturally, they fight.  A lot.  About trivial things, like whether or not the dishes are done.  About non-trivial things, like their sex life.

Don’t misconstrue, they are definitely in love with each other.  The problem is, how do they get past this anchor and deal with their repressed feelings; without tearing each other apart.  The answer comes almost by accident when Ben is cleaning out the garage and comes across the guitars he used to play.  They decide to write songs about their disputes rather than fight about them and plan to form a band and perform.

Enter the crazy next-door neighbor “Dave” (Fred Armisen – The Dictator).  Turns out beside being very strange, he is a talented drummer.  As he gets involved with the band, we find out that he is a recovering sex addict.  His two BFFs, “Cassandra Diabla” (Jamie Chung – The Man With the Iron Fists) and “Crystal Vichycoisse” (Erinn Hayes – The Watch) are also members of the same sex addict support group and Dave is their sponsor.  It makes for an interesting dynamic, especially when events transpire that cause Ben to spend the night with the trio.

Adam Pally, Fred Armisen and Zoe Lister-Jones in ‘Band Aid’

The event that is the primary cause of the rift between Anna and Ben isn’t the only problem.  Ben aspired to be much more than the designer of corporate logos.  Anna never dreamt she would be driving for Uber rather than making a living with the written word.  Her being an Uber driver allows for a brief but excellent moment for Colin Hanks as a passenger in her car.  His character is credited as “Uber Douche” which is a slick double-entendre.

The struggle in Hollywood over the possessory (some prefer “vanity”) credit in filmmaking will probably never end.  But if ever a movie was worthy of such a credit, it is Band Aid.  Zoe Lister-Jones wrote, directed and produced the film; in addition to being its star.  She also wrote the lyrics for the songs that she and Adam Pally perform in it.  She also chose to undertake the added challenge of recording that music live during filming rather than dubbing it in later.  It was an excellent choice.

Lister-Jones and Pally have a rapport on-screen that feels honest.  The writing, the story and the peaks/valleys of their relationship ring true.  This is fine filmmaking, indie style.

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Brian Milinsky

Brian Milinsky has served in the military, been an FM D.J. and an award-winning radio news reporter/anchor/writer/editor. He is presently a screenwriter and currently lives in Los Angeles.

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