Running time: 124 minutes. Rated R (language.) In choose theater and on-demand Jan. 22.
And now in your January ugly cry.
The premise of “Our Friend,” at first, sounds a bit just like the 2006 Owen Wilson clunker “You, Me and Dupree.” An grownup male pal spends all his time with a fortunately married couple. Is he going to host a kegger once they exit to dinner? Will there be a dumb gag with a blowup mattress?
No, thank God. Unlike Wilson’s loser pothead, the title companion of this weepy flick is a hero.
An ideally cast Jason Segel performs Dane, a wallflower who takes it upon himself to assist out his married mates when one in all them is identified with most cancers. Nicole (Dakota Johnson) is an enfeebled mom of two younger women, and a musical theater actress. Her husband, Matt (Casey Affleck), is a temperamental newspaper journalist.
The complete movie, in truth, relies on author Matthew Teague’s precise yearlong expertise he chronicled for Esquire in 2015, about his buddy coming to assist out after his spouse obtained sick.
That deeply private connection is obvious.
Non-linear, the story jumps forwards and backwards by means of time, so in a single scene we witness Nicole at her vibrant, bubbly greatest internet hosting a cocktail party and, within the subsequent, see illness ravaging her younger, loving, inventive thoughts and physique.
Now after which, the seeming randomness of the timeline halts the momentum and, due to this fact, our funding. The zigzagging makes extra sense, nonetheless, later in director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s movie when the brutal distinction good points poignancy — particularly after we find out about a rift that just about crumbled, however in the end strengthened, the wedding.
Johnson’s final film, “The High Note,” was all proper, but it surely was such a reduction to see her relinquish her “Fifty Shades of Grey” paddle and different unseemly accoutrements for one thing non-stupid. She is an actress worthy of actual challenges, and her uncompromising portrayal right here proves that. Affleck, who could be a lot on-screen, is best when he is making an attempt to forge a bond together with his devastated little women.
Some will accuse “Our Friend” of being sentimental, and it’s, however not in an “Oh no! The golden retriever was kidnapped!” approach. It’s subtle. The knowledge of Brad Ingelsby’s script is that Dane’s help is unnoticeable till very late within the film. His acts of kindness sneak up on you.
Whether he’s taking the couple’s daughters for ice cream or breaking apart a combat, this isn’t the same old “Good Samaritan” shtick. And the movie is extra transferring for it.