Last year's brilliant Funny Ha Ha was no fluke, said Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News. Andrew Bujalski's second film proves that he's one of America's most talented young directors. Shot in grainy black and white on 16 mm film, Mutual Appreciation employs only amateur actors, including the director himself. The movie's plot hardly matters, but it amounts to this: a Boston musician named Alan moves to Brooklyn, falls half in love with his best friend's girlfriend, and tries to find band mates. Creating more of a string of telling moments than an outright story, Bujalski shows a 'œdeep appreciation of the miserable, hilarious awkwardness of real life.' The movie spoke 'œdirectly to my inner slacker,' said David Edelstein in New York. It perfectly captures the feeling of early adult life, when self-knowledge is dim, alcohol is necessary, and fears of being tied down and drifting away contradict each other. Bujalski avoids pop culture chatter and evades his love story, choosing instead to weave a gorgeous 'œtapestry of indecision.' Scruffy and confused, these characters need our affection, said Kyle Smith in the New York Post. As Alan, Justin Rice is lovable, especially when a sparsely attended gig reveals that he actually has talent and passion for his art. 'œAs long as Bujalski keeps making 37-cent films, I'll keep enjoying them. It'll be a shame if he gets hired to do a $150 million asteroid flick.'
Rating: Not Rated