A group of friends who haven’t seen each other reunite for the first time in twenty years. It’s the basis of so many movies in so many genres from horror to comedy to porn, (if porn films can be said to have plots. But it’s probably been the dramas that have used it to the most acclaim. Films like John Sayles Return of the Secaucus Seven and Laurence Kasdan’s The Big Chill for example. Now we have Joe McClean’s The Drama Club, how well does it compare to what’s come before?
As you might guess from the title, it’s the members of a high school drama club who come together after two decades. They agreed to meet again in twenty years and amazingly enough, they show up, spouses, secrets and old grudges in tow. There’s Luke (Chris Ciccarelli) the former king of the hill who’s life hasn’t lived up to its potential Hannah (Melanie Lewis) the religious fanatic who’s only slept with one man, Nathan (Barry Finnegan) who’s gone from scrawny wimp to eye candy. Elle (Liza de Weerd) the star of all the plays and her husband Keith (Mike Kopera). The other couple Cory (Jon Thomas) and Kat (Chelsea Povall) who seems more interested in get cell reception than her husband’s old friends. And Aaron (Dane Bowman), who stayed behind and helped their teacher run the local playhouse.
There’s so much nastiness and even a punch or two in the first few minutes it’s hard to believe they would show up, or stay more than five minutes. I know the point is that these people haven’t grown up over those years, but they come off so juvenile and unlikable I was hoping it would turn into a slasher film and I’d be spared the high school bickering. The dialogue isn’t even witty, it’s blunt and on the nose, especially Elle’s rant after Hannah claims to have gotten her virginity back via prayer and counseling, race and politics get their turn too. Of course drink and weed lead to some very bad decisions which the characters get to deal with in the last act along with a dark secret being revealed.
Maybe those more into this kind of drama will find it more rewarding but I found it implausible and full of annoying characters and dialogue. A distinctly cynical ending didn’t help.
The Drama Club will be playing at the Arena Cinema Hollywood from 11/11 thru 11/17, further dates and release information to be announced later.
Website (includes trailer): http://www.thedramaclubmovie.com