Your Friends & Neighbors

1998

Your Friends & Neighbors

Critics Consensus

Though it may strike some viewers as cold and unpleasant, Neil LaBute's Your Friends & Neighbors is an incisive critique of sexual politics wrapped up in a scathing black comedy.

77%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 57

64%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,102
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Movie Info

On the heels of his award-winning debut, In the Company of Men (1997), writer-director Neil LaBute moves from the corporate boardroom to the bedroom but continues to explore male-female relationships in this modern morality tale, a dark comedic commentary on social interactions and sexual politics among upscale urbanites. Six characters are introduced: After womanizer Cary (Jason Patric) is seen rehearsing make-out lines into a tape recorder, the scene shifts to a montage of marrieds as several couples couple between the sheets. Terri (Catherine Keener) is living with a theater instructor Jerry (Ben Stiller), but she's tired of listening to his monologues in the middle of lovemaking. Also plagued by marital-type problems are self-denigrating Mary (Amy Brenneman) and impotent Barry (Aaron Eckhart). Jerry's desire for an extramarital affair with Mary impacts on the lives of the others. Soon Terri takes an interest in an attractive art gallery employee, childlike Cheri (Nastassja Kinski). Betrayals and deceits ensue.

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Critic Reviews for Your Friends & Neighbors

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (21)

Audience Reviews for Your Friends & Neighbors

  • Jan 29, 2013
    LaBute's films always provide a rise to audiences as the seemingly unspeakable to brought to bare in social settings. While not as thought provoking as in the Company of Men, this is nonetheless a worthwhile achievement.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 02, 2012
    Six people with various sexual inadequacies act cruelly toward one another. Because it's essentially a character study, I couldn't think of a better way to sum up the plot of <i>Your Friends and Neighbors</i>. Neil LaBute is the expert at giving us unpardonable characters doing cruel things, but the plot and characters' actions are usually designed to expose a societal foible or comment upon the inevitable impossibility of human connection and communication. I think about <i>The Shape of Things</i> where LaBute shows us how people transform themselves -- oftentimes essentially -- to please a significant other or the play <i>Fat Pig</i> in which social pressures convince a man to deny himself of love. These works are LaBute at his finest, but on the other hand is <i>In the Company of Men</I> in which people do cruel things because they can. And in <i>Your Friends and Neighbors</i> people do cruel things because they can. The film's most redeeming qualities are its actors. The best performance comes from Jason Patric, whose monologue in the sauna is one of the most haunting moments in the film, and his character's "It's my time now" philosophy is articulated in some of LaBute's best sentences. Overall, though LaBute's dialogue is very good and the actors are fantastic, there isn't a substantive story or a guiding theme to move the film along; it remains a character study, stagnant, like many of the lives it depicts.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Apr 07, 2012
    Aside from a few key scenes, "Your Friends & Neighbors" is not as uncomfortable as the other two offerings in Neil LaBute's unofficial trilogy. That being said, it is dark and mean, but delivers its cynicism with a good sense of humor. All actors do a great job, but Jason Patric stands out the most as the sadistic doctor. His "Nobody Actually Likes You" scene is brutal, as well as the infamous locker room monologue.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Nov 03, 2011
    The acting is great and all the characters horrible in their own ways. Yes, it's LaBute again this time showing the women's side of relationships juxtaposed with the males and with the exception of a few hiccups he succeeds largely because of the performers and the way they deliver the stimulating dialogue. The problem is 'Your Friends & Neighbors' lost me at times, a result from me not getting much from two characters that drag the movie down and offer only a few scenes worth remembering. Mr. LaBute is still provocative and plays in taboos and themes that make viewers squirm, unfortunately he doesn't always hit the topics as hard as one wants.
    Jonny B Super Reviewer

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