Film Review: All My Friends Hate Me

Film Review: All My Friends Hate Me

It's always good to see comedians that you know from the comedy circuit move into the film world. Tom Stourton and Tom Palmer made a splash a few years ago as high energy double act Totally Tom and now they have their movie break in the multi-genre All My Friends Hate Me, starring Stourton and written by both of them and directed by Andrew Gaynord.

After a singalong car-based opening which has shades of Alan Partridge rocking out to Roachford, we find out what the set-up is. Posh charity worker Peter is heading to a country house to celebrate his birthday and reconnect with an old bunch of friends. It's a situation that he might really enjoy, but that doesn't mean that he isn't anxious about it. In fact when he asks an old man for directions on the way one gets the immediate sense that all may not be as it seems.

On arrival things start off fine as he hooks up with George (Joshua McGuire), his wife Fig (Georgina Campbell), Archie (Graham Dickson) and old flame Claire (Antonia Clarke). But also present is a local random called Harry (Dustin Demri-Burns) who is just a bit too in-your-face for comfort.

As the weekend pans out things go from bad to worse for Pete. You start to wonder whether everyone is purposely ganging up on him and if they are what is the reason? Revenge? Is it something that happened in the past? Or is it all in his head? He is taking pills so clearly is suffering from something. It all feels as if it is going to end in tears. Or maybe worse.

What makes All My Friends Hate Me both good and bad is you never quite know what genre it wants to be. Is it a comedy about social embarrassment? There are laughs, but not that many and they are often uncomfrtable laughs. You are often on the edge of your seat not know what is coming next. Is it a psychological thriller? Is it a horror film set in a posh twat's mansion? In a way it is all of these things.

The chemistry between the cast works well and manages to fill in the gaps even when the script appears to go off piste. There are scenes that don't quite fit and other scenes that seem to lead in one direction then head into another. As I said, this kind of keeps you guessing, but in a way that does not seem intentional.

Some people have suggested this is like an update of the old Ken Branagh/Stephen Fry luvvie fest Peter's Friends, but that's not quite right. In places the tone feels more like a Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright movie. Imagine Shaun of the Dead with less zombies and more white male privilege. 

All My Friends Hate Me is on genenral release now


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