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‘Banana Split’: Film Review



There are loads of basic elements that go right into a banana cut up. So it appears applicable that “Banana Cut up” contains all of the tasty parts of a great, enjoyable, soulfully good summer-after-senior-year teen flick. It’s bought sharp-tongued dialogue and recent interesting actors who know simply easy methods to ship it. It’s bought an anthropological eye for youth tradition, with its perpetually evolving fashions and habits (e.g., vaping) and pop references (“He thinks he’s a drug lord, clearly.” “Proper, as a result of all drug lords drive round of their shitty Jettas listening to Carly Rae Jepson”). It nods to the mythology of John Hughes — in truth, it opens with deadpan-cynical April (Hannah Marks) getting hit on by dreamboat Nick (Dylan Sprouse), who seems to be like if-Brad-Pitt-and-Leonardo-DiCaprio-had-a-baby with lengthy blond ’90s Hanson brothers hair, the 2 excessive schoolers losing no time earlier than they make out in a diner sales space, which results in a love montage, encounters with a goofy stoner third-wheel buddy, a primary struggle and, in fact, the senior promenade. And that’s all within the film’s first 5 minutes.

After which…they break up.

At which level “Banana Cut up” can transfer on to its actual and defining love story: the friendship that develops between April, a lady so acerbic she will be able to say to the dude who simply requested for a scorching canine on her movie-theater concession job, “The scent of your pig elements goes to wreck the cinematic expertise for everybody,” and Clara (Liana Liberato), who’s, if something, even sassier, to the purpose that their conversations are R-rated quipfests of the quickest and raunchiest order. The 2 develop into besties, comrades, huggy confessional soul sisters. All very cool. However the place’s the dramatic pressure in that?

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The strain is: After April broke up with Nick, Carla is the lady he began seeing. They usually’re nonetheless an merchandise. The film tells the story of two finest buddies who ought to, by all rights, hate one another.

“Banana Cut up,” which has been kicking across the competition circuit for greater than a 12 months, was co-written by its star, Hannah Marks, who along with her bangs and raccoon mascara and downbeat ebullience suggests a high-school model of Cher. The script, co-written with Joey Energy, by no means lets up (at occasions it’s as witty as “Booksmart”),  however I want the film breathed a bit extra. It has a contact of sitcom rhythm and never sufficient of the natural circulate that made films like “Say Something…” or “Actuality Bites” or “Eighth Grade” really feel like privileged glimpses into the hearts and minds of children who’re rising previous being youngsters. Watching “Banana Cut up,” you see what’s coming a mile away, as a result of there isn’t fairly sufficient coming. But when the film is over, you’ve chuckled at it and been touched by it, and also you’re glad that you just bought to spend time with these actors, who’re ok that I might foresee any certainly one of them blowing up massive.

April, after breaking apart with Nick, noticed who he was courting and stalked her on Instagram. So when she and Clara wind up on the similar year-end home occasion, it appears as if armed fight is however a step away. As an alternative, they wind up doing photographs and rapping together with Junglepussy’s “Bling Bling” (“Fuck a marriage ring that ding-a-ling was only a fling, bitch”), which form of seals their kinship. April already has buddies, however Clara, who lately moved to L.A. from Fresno, is a lady who matches her. And it’s telling how irrelevant that renders the truth that they’re rival legs of a romantic triangle. “Banana Cut up” speaks to a technology for whom romance and friendship could now reside, to a big diploma, on completely different shores.

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On the similar time, April and Clara are in denial of a battle that must rear its head. The director, Benjamin Kasulke, is a veteran cinematographer who brings the L.A. settings a spangly glow, however he phases too many scenes with generic “punch.” I want he’d performed in opposition to the comedy as a substitute of italicizing it, and that he’d give you some pop-music epiphanies and ditched the movie’s cloying synthesizer rating. But Kasulke establishes an area the place Marks and Liberato can let their brainy sensual spirits — and lashing putdowns — fly, and he does a wonderful job with the supporting actors, like Haley Ramm as April’s outrageously aggressive child sister (who’s 13 and says issues like “So that you’re rebound fucking?”) and Luke Spencer Roberts, who invests the Jon Cryer function with a classy anxiousness that’s extra layered than traditional. When he steals a kiss from April, we’re fairly positive she gained’t ask for it again.

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