Andrea Grano Tara Karsian
Premiering at the Santa Barbara Film Festival in January, 2014, BFFs is likely to be well received for its realistic look at how couples come together. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartwarming, it tells the story of two friends who just want to get away for some R&R, and since one’s mother (who wants her daughter to get back with her boyfriend) has paid for a weekend relationship-building session at a resort-type place, they decide to use it themselves, posing as a “couple” and making a little vacation out of it.
From the characters, to the issues discussed, to the therapists, the script is so true to life, it makes me wonder if it is autobiographical. The two main characters wrote the script, and it is conceivable it might be based on their actual experiences. Thankfully, it presents authentic-seeming relationship-building sessions with two of the very few therapists (Patrick O’Connor and Sigrid Thornton) portrayed in movies who sound like the real thing.
The director, Andrew Putschoegl, has made use of attractive sets, judicious editing, and pace that altogether makes BFFs an enjoyable experience for the viewer. In addition to the main characters (Andrea Grano and Tara Karsian), the other actors are skillful in their characterizations of the group members. When they talk about the problems they are encountering, the dynamics and processes involved in the issues reflect those seen by counselors in their real-life therapy sessions. We are given just enough information to get a reasonably good impression about specific couples and where their problems lie. Similarly, the defenses used by group members are an accurate reflection of those typically used, ones that sometimes make us smile and other times make us cringe. Music by Paul Buckley fits in perfectly with every scene and adds to the enjoyment of the film.
Members of the cast and crew of BFFs seem to have a fair amount of experience in their work, and it shows in the art they have created.
By Donna R. Copeland