The beauty of Band Aid is that while every happy couple may be alike, not every romantic comedy about them has to be.
Director Zoe Lister-Jones (who also wrote, produced, and stars) manages to avoid the pitfalls of a typical romantic comedy and the dull pacing of an indie film, which, for a first-time filmmaker, is nothing to sneeze at. Much like the works of John Cassavetes and Roberto Rossellini, Lister-Jones injects her characters with refreshing energy and realism. No behavior is out of place, no conclusion strained.
There is little doubt that Anna (Lister-Jones) and Ben (Adam Pally) aren’t meant for each other; it’s just that they are on Year Ten and spend more time fighting over the little things than they do talking about what’s on TV or the new bar that opened down the street. There’s still that look in their eyes—that look that brought them together in the first place—but it only comes out when they are stoned at their godson’s birthday. Music plays an integral role, and the idea strikes: Maybe music will help mend their marriage.
If they’re going to fight, why not make music out of it? They enlist the help of their next-door neighbor, he drums (Fred Armisen), to form The Dirty Dishes. As the old adage goes: write what you know.
Like most marriages, Anna and Ben’s fights circle that one big issue neither dare speak of. Here, it is the absence of a child; or, more accurately, the creation of a child. But libido need not refer only to the act of procreation. Sometimes the act of creation is what matters. Children won’t fix a broken marriage, but communication will. Anna and Ben just need a little drum and bass to get there.
Band Aid opens June 23 at the Landmark Mayan.
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