Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
On the first Friday of the school year, Pete Boslem fails to win back his girlfriend Elizabeth. At the encouragement of his friends, Pete and his buddies decide to crash a party where she will be, only to have it broken up by the police. Split up from running from the cops, the four friends must not only find each other, but find another party. Soon, the typical high school night turns into the night of their lives for four friends who are out of control, over the top, and under the influence. Written by
Ah, that's cute. A group of obviously past high school aged guys get together one night, no doubt while under the influence and one young kid says: "Well, if they can make Superbad, so can we!"
"Uh, dude," one replies in between laughing and/or giving him a WTF-look, "they, uh, had the money. And, um, it's been done. So shut the (blanky-blank) up!"
"I have twenty dollars. Chip (seriously, this would be the name of the bros we're dealing with), what do you have?"
"$18.50. But, I need to buy some (insert illegal substance here)," answers "Chip."
"Perfect! We'll roll tomorrow!"
Exaggeration is my forte, as most who know me will not contest, but I don't think I'm too far off here with the creative process behind Under the Influence. Now, don't get me wrong; it wasn't a terrible movie and you really have to give these guys, and crew, credit for making a feature length movie in the realm of the bigger-budgeted teen-roadtrip-romcom-drugs-girls-drinking-partying films, such as Superbad.
Sadly, I've been behind on my reviews, not that it's this movie's fault, so I don't recall much. But, suffice to say, I just described the plot within the last sentence of the previous paragraph. I will say, it was a cute little film that relied more on ambition than budget, talent or originality. And these guys (and some girl parts, er, I mean female roles/characters) really put their all in.
I laughed occasionally, especially from one of the four featured friends, Urtel (Kevin Fitzgibbons) and the cop played by Sam Benedict who was obviously trying to channel Seth Rogan in the multiple referenced movie in this review. Still, he was funny and again, devoted to the project.
I've seen some low-budget attempts at humor or independent films that really are trying to over-step their boundaries/budgets and pretend to be something much bigger than they are. This is not the case. It's short, it's not deep and it has heart. Give it a shot. Rent it, make them a few extra bucks for their efforts and enjoy small efforts from people who take a chance.
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