At the end of 1952, with the best years of Hank Williams's career behind him, he hires a local kid to drive him through the Appalachian countryside for a pair of New Years shows in West Virginia and Ohio.
Fred Dalton Thompson
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I, too, saw Farewell Bender at the Waterfront Film Festival and this movie angered me - that's how much I hated it. The movie is about (I guess) a group of friends who cope with the recent suicide/accident death of their friend "Bender". I suppose the title is also supposed to be a clever attachment to a "Bender" - a drinking spree...though, the characters in this movie do more pot smoking and not as much drinking. Whatever...
First and foremost I hated every character in this film. There was nothing likable about anybody in this group of friends. If you like Paris Hilton and want to be just like her, maybe MAYBE you will like them. But I'm not a fan of snotty kids with zero personality who treat everybody else like crap and have to deal with a difficult life of partying. Apparently this film thinks such a life and those troubles are really "deep". I don't. A life of partying is not trouble, it's fun. This movie is not fun. It's a film of whiny jerks (mostly guys) with ZERO charm or personality.
Note to director: you CAN make whiny jerks likable, but you did not do that in this film. They are not fun, funny, or entertaining or interesting at all. You made me hate having to spend 2 hours of my life with them. I'm only happy that I didn't have to spend the time you spent writing these characters and then shooting them. If you know people like this, I feel sorry you: these jerks do not merit having a movie made about them.
Actor Kip Pardue (who?) plays one of the characters that we are to identify with. Early in the film we discover Kip's character is a religious instructor who takes his underage student out for a date (which we don't see) which cuts to them ending up in his car for sex, cocaine, and then him telling her she better not expect anything from this because he has a girlfriend. This is one of the guys we should identify with.
Another is Eddie Kaye Thomas, the likable actor from American Pie and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. He's a fun, likable awkward actor...but this movie made me hate even him. He just comes off as a whiny shallow idiot. AND he is the most likable one in the movie!
I also especially liked how these guys sat around at a funeral of their friend (who we never see them with) angry at the other kids who didn't know the friend as well. What a bunch of self-absorbed assholes, as though they lay claim to the memory of this friend. There MAY be a way to effectively convey their resentments, but again the movie fails and just made me hate them even more. A-holes.
One thing that interested me with this film was that Adam Corolla was listed 6th in the cast, so I was looking for him for some laughs. But we never see him. He is a voice we hear on the radio for a total of about 13 seconds (I'm being generous). Advertising his name with this film is beyond misleading, it's robbery. With Adam Corolla, Eddie Kaye Thomas, and a title like "Farewell Bender" you would expect this to be a comedy: but no, there are no laughs, period.
With all this said, I think the director COULD make a good movie...I do sense visual competence. The use of music is at times good, though at times forced. Anyway, the director COULD make something decent. He just should not write the material. If he is going to write, find some new friends or subjects to write about, not your unlikeable friends.
The jerks (guys) in this movie - they don't even like EACH OTHER. In every scene they are in together, all they do is argue and fight. They never have fun together, and really convey a solid hatred for each other. So why are they even friends? If I had friends like them I would kill myself.
At least now I know why Bender said Farewell.
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