Zoe Lister-Jones wrote, stars in, and makes her directorial debut with Band Aid, a quirky, touching, and nuanced romantic dramedy. The chemistry, performances, and realistic situations in Band Aid elevate this indie film beyond the expected into something surprisingly engaging and refreshingly real.
The premise is relatively simple: a married couple deal with problems in their relationship by writing songs describing their marital issues. The film revolves around Anna (Lister-Jones of Life in Pieces) and Ben (Adam Pally of Happy Endings) as they move forward after a devastating event rocks their marriage. Attempting to hold it together, the couple stumble upon the idea of creating a band and writing songs as a form of therapy.
Their quarrels provide fodder for catchy but cutting tunes, and with the help of their neighbor, Weird Dave (Fred Armisen), they hit the stage at open mic nights. The unconventional therapy works to a point, and the marriage occasionally hits a harmonious beat off-stage as well as on. However, until they’re able to address the life-changing event at the center of their dysfunctional relationship, the music is nothing more than a temporary distraction.
Lister-Jones establishes herself as a filmmaker to watch with her rookie feature film. Wearing multiple hats, Lister-Jones wrote believable, flawed characters and then gathered a talented ensemble to create this alternately hilarious and heartbreaking relationship tale.
Pally and Lister-Jones truly sell the idea this couple is genuinely in love and seeking to reconnect to what initially drew them together. Once they take up instruments and hit the stage, Band Aid really slips into a groove. Still, there are a few rough moments when Band Aid briefly loses its way in the third act with an abrupt change in tone. However, even with its rough spots Lister-Jones’ Band Aid is a must-see comedy that signals the arrival of a talented filmmaker with a keen eye and the ability to create relatable, authentic characters.
Release Date: June 16, 2017
Running Time: 94 minutes
Cast: Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally, Fred Armisen, Hannah Simone, Brooklyn Decker, Angelique Cabral, Susie Essman, Retta, Ravi Patel, Majandra Delfino, Colin Hanks, Daryl Wein, Chris D’Elia, Jamie Chung, Erinn Hayes, Gillian Zinser, and Jesse Williams