Friends grow apart and friends fall apart. It’s a common story and one that can resonate with many. Friends reuniting for an event makes for a memorable film experience. Directed by Andrew Gaynord, this reunion film does not have the comfort of The Big Chill or others in the genre. All My Friends Hate Me is the anti friends reunion movie that turns the good old days into ammunition.
The film centers on Pete (Tom Stourton), a man who has not seen his friends in years, but is reluctantly reuniting with them to celebrate his birthday in the English countryside. Pete’s college friends are also accompanied by a brash stranger named Harry (Dustin Demri-Burns). Tensions immediately set in and Pete grows suspicious of Harry’s presence. As the weekend progresses he finds he no longer has much in common with his friends and the environment turns from hospitable to hostile.
Written by Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton, the film cleverly shows the dangers in forcing someone out of their comfort zone. The dialogue is often passive aggressive and tinged with humor to create the uneasiness that might haunt a person who lives in their head. Gaynord’s direction makes good use of sound and the remote location to heighten the sense of peril. Stourton gives a great performance as Pete and shares a dark chemistry with Demri-Burns.
All My Friends Hate Me taps into the darkest fears of those who grapple with social anxiety and pressure. It is an uncomfortable watch, but the dark humor and strong performances are engaging.
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