Tribeca 2024 Review: ADULT BEST FRIENDS, Life and Other Disasters

Contributing Writer
Tribeca 2024 Review: ADULT BEST FRIENDS, Life and Other Disasters

Katie and Delaney (Katie Corwin and Delaney Buffett respectively) have been best friends since childhood, and now they both refuse to admit that they’ve been drifting apart for a while.

Katie is seemingly responsible for the “adult” part of the title. She has a steady boyfriend and a job, and is totally down with going to bed earlier and missing a party. Delaney parties hard and visibly suffers through the weekly Zoom-sessions with her sweet co-workers. all the while seemingly not ever doing any actual work.

What’s more important, Delaney still clings to the concept of “best friends” as if they were still pre-teeens. She would definitely prefer to ditch Katie’s perfect boyfriend (Mason Gooding) and just go back to the way things were. When Katie’s boyfriend proposes, she accurately predicts that Delaney might not react very well, so she organizes a nice trip for just the two of them to break the news. Unsurprisingly to absolutely everyone, except Katie, nothing goes according to plan.

As is easy to deduct by the actors’ names, Adult Best Friends is based on the real-life friendship of Delaney Buffett and Katie Corwin, who co-wrote the screenplay, with Buffett also directing. The uncomfortable feeling of the realness of it all might make the first ten minutes or so of the screening quite difficult as it is unclear how meta or self-aware the authors are trying to be.

Then, Zachary Quinto, who is one of the executive producers here, pops up as Katie’s brother, who likes to listen in on his therapist wife’s sessions and then lecturing people with nonsense he doesn’t fully understand. As Quinto offers some great one-liners and is generally being hilarious, the film seems to be gaining its ground, and gets even more confident when the titular friends arrive at their doomed vacation destination. The rental that’s supposed to be private with a lockbox check-in, but instead comes with a talkative and potentially unstable landlord who stays in the basement.

At this point, it becomes glaringly obvious that Delaney isn’t the only one resisting the changes in life. Katie is even more in a peril, as she is the one who is about to take an actual plunge into the unknown.

The adult life is scary, making all of us feel stupid for ever wanting to join the club as fast as we can – and also leading to some foolish, potentially reckless behavior. The middle part of Adult Best Friends is the most convincing when the movie almost hints at a more sinister genre: with a seedy bar and a group of strange men who are in town for a bachelor bash. The undercurrent of possible danger is the point here, through, as the self-distractive antics seem preferable to the actual grown-up ones (bringing to mind similar attitudes from Ole Bornedal’s Nightwatch – minus the serial killer).

Cinematically, the film is a bit uneven, as Buffett cleverly operates with lots of static shots mimicking the general state her heroines are in, and jump cuts for comedic effect. But it also relies too heavily on montage sequences at times, and by the end leans too much into a parody of romcom cliches where the rom part is substituted with friendship.

At the same time, Buffett’s film is populated by wonderful neurotics of all kinds, who are all scarily recognizable and relatable, just as the movie's general gist is. As a side note: someone should seriously consider a spin-off with Quinto's character, the lover of second-hand therapy. 

The film enjoys its world premiere at the 2024 Tribeca Festival. It screens again on Monday, June 10; Wednesday, June 12; and Sunday, June 16. 

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Delaney BuffettKatie CorwinTribeca 2024Tribeca Festival

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