Supporting Characters

| June 27, 2013

Best friends Nick (Alex Karpovsky) and Darryl (Tarik Lowe) are editing partners working to assemble a romantic comedy in a way that audiences may actually enjoy.  However, their work on the film is really just a backdrop for most of the action in Supporting Characters.  The film is mostly about relationships.  Nick is engaged to Amy (Sophia Takal), while Darryl struggles to maintain a dodgy relationship with his new girlfriend Liana (Melonie Diaz).  In addition to Nick’s relationship issues with Amy, he also becomes friendly with the leading actress of the film he’s working on, Jamie (Arielle Kebbel).

This is a really great, charming little movie, which I enjoyed a lot.  It defies classification because it’s presented like a romantic comedy, but with a vulgarity and realism that the genre tends to ignore.  It is funny, and it is about romance, but there are elements of gritty, human-centered drama.  I love the way all of the characters interact here.  Nick and Darryl have a great friendship, but it’s strained because they’re also business partners, so when Nick is offered a job, but they can’t afford to also hire Darryl, it creates some very believable tension between them.  Nick’s relationship with Amy feels painfully realistic because the two have almost a secret language between them that nicely creates the illusion that they’ve been together for a long time.  They have quirks that feel organic to their individual characters, and they fight about real things that are clearly important to both of them.  On the other hand, watching Darryl fight with Liana was like watching a recording of my life.  The things coming out of each character’s mouth was so eerily familiar that I could barely take it.  All of this is a real tribute to the film’s overall execution.

My one big criticism is the role of Adrian, which is capably performed by Kevin Corrigan (The Departed), but he doesn’t get enough screen time to be as well-developed as the rest of the cast.  Adrian is the director of the film Nick and Darryl are editing and his only real purpose in the movie is to show up from time to time to complain about the direction post-production is going in and making excuses about why he hasn’t been more involved in the process himself.  It’s all really uninteresting, but to give some credit to the character, it’s through an interaction with him that leads to one of the funniest moments of the film.  Adrian is arguing with his DP about choices he’s making, and the DP storms off and yells seemingly to no one that the lighting in the room they’re talking in is awful.  I like the meta-theatricality of the character commenting on the work of whoever lit the scene for the film.  Meta elements are funny to me when they’re used in this tiny way that might not even get noticed by the general audience.

My other criticism is that the film ends really abruptly and I personally have no idea what the status of Nick and Amy’s relationship is when all is said and done.  Darryl makes a comment about the both of them being bachelors, but I have a hard time reading that as the couple broke up because it doesn’t feel right for those characters.  But, I invite you all to watch the film and form your own conclusions about what’s going on there.

Bottom line is that these characters aren’t good or bad.  They’re complicated human beings.  Individuals.  They struggle with real-world issues, and make decisions for a variety of reasons in a variety of contexts, and sometimes have to face the consequences of any bad decisions.  All of this makes the characters feel like real people in a way that I think is too rarely seen on film.

The only bonus feature is an interview with some of the cast.  Available now on DVD from Tribeca Film.

About the Author:

Joe Sanders Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
Filed in: Video and DVD

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.