Ira Sachs (Love is Strange, Keep the Lights On) once again brings out some strong acting performances with Michael Barbieri (Tony) and Theo Taplitz (Jake). These two boys mirror each other's personalities as outsiders. They have trouble being understood by their peers and rely on each other's friendship in order to find happiness. Barbieri and Theo give us a sort of playfulness along with the deep emotions that continue to build throughout the film. Sachs also brings in some familiar faces such as Greg Kinnear and Alfred Molina who have already proven to be fantastic actors in their filmographies. Honestly, I need to go back and watch Love is Strange because I have heard great things about that flick.
This film not only feels like a snapshot of a teenage relationship, but it also is presented with complex detail. After the screening we got the privilege of doing a Q&A with Sachs over Skype. Throughout the film Tony and Jake are seen skating and roller-blading so someone asked if this had significance. Sachs said that the scenes were to express the energy of the boys and also to symbolize that they are "chasing" after something in life. This is a deep concept in a film that portrays two realistic characters. Sachs's directing has to be praised because of scenes like this. The thought process differentiates him from other directors, some of whom are so focused on big action that they don't have time to even create meaning.
The Bottom Line: This film makes us all think back to our childhoods and that one person that we called our "best-friend."