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In Mutual Appreciation, director Andrew Bujalski, the new darling of US indie filmmaking, creates a totally fresh picture of 20-something America.
A likeably loose, New York slacker romp through post-collegiate anomie, awkward courtship rituals and uncomfortable silences, Bujalski's unique riff on a familiar theme is devoid of the pretension that you might expect. Instead, it relies on honesty and simple humility to communicate its charms.
Set in New York City, the story is filtered through the experience of Alan (Justin Rice), an indie rock musician trying to go solo, all the while rather poorly suppressing his growing attraction to Ellie, the girlfriend of his best friend, college tutor Lawrence (Bujalski). Hitting all the right notes of ego, anxiety and affability as Alan, Justin Rice is a great screen presence and his exchanges with Rachel Clift (Ellie) are worth the price of admission alone.
As one Variety critic noted, if John Cassavetes had directed a script by Eric Rohmer, the result might have looked and sounded like Mutual Appreciation.


D/S Andrew Bujalski P Ethan Vogt Dist Accent Films
TD 35mm/bw/2005/110mins

Andrew Bujalski was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1977. His films include Funny Ha Ha (2002).