Here’s a film that has been dug out from near the back of the freezer cabinet – something from 2018. It’s a teen female-friendship, coming-of-ager from 27-year-old actor and co-screenwriter Hannah Marks who stars here, channelling a young Sandra Bullock.
She plays Californian high-school student April, dating the egregiously hot Nick (Dylan Sprouse) who breaks up with her at the end of the senior year. So begins April’s summer of misery, which seems complete when she learns, from Insta-stalking Nick, that he is now dating gorgeous Clara (Liana Liberato). A drunken confrontation between the two women has a weird cathartic outcome: they secretly become best friends, and it’s almost as if both of them are cheating on Nick – with each other.
The fundamental premise of this never really looks anything other than muddled and implausible, and certainly doesn’t free up the relationship between Marks and Liberato in any satisfyingly comic direction. There is no law that says a movie like this has to be funny exactly, and it needn’t be something in the style of Booksmart – but there is something rather solemn about it.
It is weird to see the cameo from Jacob Batalon, who was very funny recently as Peter Parker’s best friend, Ned Leeds, in the Spider-Man MCU movies, here playing a cinema manager with a hopeless crush on April who has an embarrassing summer job there. Something about the script removes the comedy oxygen from his performance.
• Banana Split is on digital platforms from 8 June.
Source: The Guardian