Mutual Appreciation

A tiny review

Somewhere along the way I saw a trailer for "Mutual Appreciation," and promptly added it on ye olde Netflix queue. Released in 2006, the Andrew Bujalski ("Funny Ha Ha") film never made it to Albuquerque theaters. Though intrigued, somehow I didn't expect much more than an exercise in low-budge, indie filmmaking. Fortunately, "Mutual Appreciation," is excellent. With its ordinary characters, lack of cinematic excess, simple plot and general plausibility, this is more like a relic of the mid-20th century than a contemporary piece.

Here's the most basic of synopses: Alan (Justin Rice of real-life band, Bishop Allen) arrives in New York via Boston, to pursue rock 'n roll. He meets up with close childhood friend Lawrence, and his girlfriend, Ellie. Viewers are ever-so-gently thrust into a subtle tale of interpersonal relationships among young urban dwellers, tied together with excellent music and a velvety black and white color scheme. Clever dialogue and unpretentious cinematography ensue. In other words, thumbs up.