Sunday night was one of the more refreshing nights I’ve had in a long time. Thanks to my brother Alexander Berman and his long time friend and co-worker J.C. Khoury, an up and coming director who I think will turn some heads, I had the chance to attend a night of the Gen Art film festival in NYC and get a sneak peak at Khoury’s new film The Pill.
If I learned anything that night it’s that there are so many films out there that many of us don’t get to see that by far outweigh some of the filth that gets pumped out in Hollywood on a weekly basis. And another thing. You don’t need $100 mm to make a movie that means something, that people will enjoy, and that folks will talk about when it’s over.
I have an article coming up that explores how I think comedies are not nearly as good as they used to be and after Sunday I stand corrected. I now think there is in fact hope. After seeing The Pill, I fully believe that romantic comedies have a shot again.
Check out the full review after the jump…..
The plot of the film reads something like this: Worried that he has gotten the free-spirited Mindy pregnant after an unprotected one-night stand, Fred feigns romantic interest and sticks by her side for twelve hours to make sure she takes both doses of the morning-after pill.
From the get go you know this movie is a 100% New York movie so anyone who lives in the city is going to love the scenery, apartments, and everything all too familiar about New York. The movie starts off just that way, in a typical NYC apartment late at night with two drunk souls flirting as they are about to consumate their relationship. There’s the witty banter, the drinking games, the guy saying he has to leave even though he doesn’t want to, and a hilarious script and facial expressions to go along with it.
To top it off before Fred (played by Noah Bean) is about to have sex with Mindy (played by Rachel Boston) he finds himself in the bathroom only to find a condom in the garbage can. Fred of course freaks out that he’s with a girl whose been around the block and confronts her in a very funny fashion. Mindy plays it off as though she has a roommate and they proceed to have sex as planned. Unfortunately just as they are about to begin, Mindy falls asleep. Fast forward a few hours later, Fred is fast asleep but “aroused” and Mindy decides to get on top sans protection. Her advice to Fred is to “go with it,” and sure enough he does and he of course finishes inside of Mindy.
What ensues is a painfully awkward morning of dialogue in which Fred tries to find out if Mindy is on The Pill. What unravels are a series of lies that Mindy admitted to the night before. She isn’t on The Pill, the condom in the garbage was hers, and she doesn’t have a roommate. What Fred fails to tell Mindy is that he in fact has a girlfriend (as evidenced from a text you see him receive the night before).
Fred convinces Mindy that she’s gotta take the morning after pill. The pharmacy scene is incredible. Fred and Mindy are at the counter and Fred literally tries to get Mindy to take the pill then and there. Mindy is of course 100% offended that the only reason Fred is even there is because he wants to get this over with. She was even nice enough to invite him to breakfast to which he replied “I have too much stuff to do.” After Mindy storms out of the pharmacy the pharmacist tells Fred to make sure that Mindy takes “the second” pill 12 hours later. And poof, the movie begins.
What follows is an extremely well done “adventure” of Fred trying to balance keeping Mindy happy during this 12 hr period (and not telling her about the second pill) with the impending arrival of his girlfriend Nelly (played by Anna Chlumsky), and all the while learning a great deal about himself and what he wants out of life.
In a world where I think comedy is almost dying out in romantic movies, The Pill is a refreshing look at a real life situation with extreme consequences. I worried at times that the movie just might wind up getting off track and turn into this sort of weird fodder and ridiculously circumstantial kind of of a film. But I was wrong.
J.C. Khoury manages to keep us on track with scene after scene. From the meeting of Mindy’s family which includes a hilarious scene containing Mindy’s French parents ( her father is hilarious), her brother, her sister, and a belly dancer to the introduction of Nelly, an anal retentive controlling girlfriend who you instantly hate, there isn’t a scene that doesn’t captivate you in some way. Oh and I have to mention the Mindy’s ex boyfriend scene. It’s hilarious.
And for a moment I remember thinking to myself “there’s no way in a 12 hr period this kind of shit can possibly happen hence the movie falls short.” But I was wrong. If it weren’t for Nelly’s character and Fred consistently assessing his life with new found fun with Mindy, then perhaps I’d have kept my negative opinion. But what I ended up receiving was a believable, consistent narrative that flowed with incredibly real and convincing acting performances by Noah Bean and Rachel Boston.
I haven’t seen a romantic comedy this funny and “real” since The Break Up and I would say that The Pill blew that away. I hope everyone gets a chance to see this movie. Please make sure to fan it on Facebook. I think J.C. Khoury is going places and The Pill might just be the start.