Band Aid (2017)
Critic Consensus: Band Aid tells a solidly affecting story of a relationship on the rocks -- and marks star Zoe Lister-Jones, who also wrote and directed, as a tremendous triple threat worth watching.
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Critic Reviews for Band Aid
Full of sarcastic humor, earnest emotion and a phenomenal performance from writer/director/producer/star Zoe Lister-Jones, it hinges on the central relationship. But even with deep-rooted problems, this is a couple worth rooting for.
[The] glib, zinger-laden bickering is more wearisome than funny and never adds up to a believable relationship on the rocks.
As a performer, Lister-Jones acquits herself well on both the comedic and melodramatic fronts. And the scruffily charming Pally comes across as a hybrid of Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd.
The film too often struggles to find a balance between being searing and charming; at best, it's a notable curio, one Lister-Jones may well build on for her next feature.
Audience Reviews for Band Aid
SCREAM STREET - My Review of BAND AID (3 Stars) I've had my eye on Zoe Lister-Jones for some time now. I first noticed her on the short-lived sitcom, WHITNEY, where she nailed her sharp, sarcastic character as if she were a Jewish Kathy Griffin. On NEW GIRL, she deftly played a shady politician, and her current stint on LIFE IN PIECES allows her to shine as well. Making her directorial debut with BAND AID, which she also wrote and produced, Lister-Jones has made a bold, if imperfect, leap forward as a lovely leading actor. Employing an all female crew, she tells the story of a married couple (she plays Anna and Adam Pally is Ben) who have hit the skids and decide to form a band to save their relationship. I love musical process movies, such as GOD HELP THE GIRL, WE ARE THE BEST!, and especially SING STREET, where we see the origins of the songs and watch people work them out on instruments they can barely play. There's something so organic and innocent about them that completely brings me joy. While not quite on the level of its predecessors, BAND AID provides many low key, well-observed pleasures. Ben and Anna rarely have sex anymore and their sink full of dirty dishes and dripping faucet aptly acts as a metaphor for how stuck they feel. One afternoon, at a children's party, they find their smiles again with an impromptu "performance" for the kids. After a couple of similar incidents, they're forming their own literal garage band, eventually enlisting their creepy neighbor (a scene-stealing Fred Armisen) on drums. In fact, Lister-Jones stacks the cast with many of her old co-stars, including Chris D'Elia, Hannah Simone, Colin Hanks, and an inspired cameo by Retta, who gets the biggest laugh in the movie. All of it is in spirit with the "let's put on a show" vibe of the story. Unfortunately, the film runs out of steam around the 3/4 mark, turning away from the comedy in favor of melodrama, but everyone commits to the material so well, and Lister-Jones and Pally have such wonderful chemistry, that it's mostly forgivable. I had a good time watching this film, despite it being fairly unambitious and somewhat rambling. There's an unnecessary and dated scene where our leads join a drum circle that should have been cut, but then again, a scene comprised of Ben, Anna, sex, and a mousetrap more than makes up for it. I also bought a funny scene where they do mushrooms on the beach. I wish I liked the music better, but BAND AID keeps it grounded in reality. These aren't great musicians, so of course they're gonna flail about and shout their argumentative lyrics at each other. Lister-Jones forfeits what could have been a killer soundtrack, but I respect the call. She has something to say about relationships with their fleeting moments of happiness. It's not a great film, but it's sweet, prickly and honest. She impressively focuses on her interactions with Pally, bringing us two very real people, warts and all. By steadfastly refusing to go for the obvious happy ending, Lister-Jones finds the visual reminder that marriages aren't always an easy song and dance.
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