Critic Reviews



Based on 27 critic reviews provided by
Chicago Sun-Times
LaBute's "Your Friends and Neighbors'' is to "In the Company of Men'' as Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction'' was to "Reservoir Dogs.'' In both cases, the second film reveals the full scope of the talent, and the director, given greater resources, paints what he earlier sketched.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
It is superbly executed and, for all its pitilessness, it's an intelligent dramatization of the impact that consumerist values have had on the psyche of the North American middle class at the end of the 20th century.
What keeps you in your seat is the acting. Keener, crisply and coolly playing against type, commands the screen. [24 August 1998, p. 58]
LaBute's narrative structure and visual strategies are rigorously crafted, bespeaking an almost mathematical calculation that, in compellingly contradictory ways, both enhances the dramatic experience while undermining its very authenticity.
LaBute achieves a bracing originality by observing human folly as a means to understand rather than condemn. Love or hate his films, LaBute is one of the most challenging filmmakers to emerge in years.
As was true for "In the Company of Men," LaBute doesn't care if viewers are offended. Supported by a fine group of actors, he tells the story without compromises, and that gives us a refreshing alternative to multiplex fare.
The acting and writing is a cut above the ordinary.
The New Republic
LaBute's dialogue reminds us that, along with that of such others as Hal Hartley and Jim Jarmusch and Whit Stillman, the sheer writing, these days, of some American films is remarkably fine. LaBute has cast his film to match, with people who can handle his dialogue neatly. [31 August 1998, p. 28]
Jason Patric is the chief sleaze; Ben Stiller adds to his gallery of wormy guys; and Aaron Eckhart is the doleful husband who, when asked who his best lay was, unabashedly answers, "Me." [24 August 1998, p. 85]
This is an embarrassing film. It's a sex comedy that sets itself up as a satire of middle-class mores, except there's no truth behind any of its observations. LaBute tries to be shocking and manages only to be shockingly puerile -- tasteless in a high-school-boyish sort of way.

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