Friended to Death
Ryan Hansen, James Immekus, Sarah Smick
Directed by Sarah Smick
Green Step Productions 2014
Friended To Death is an original and very entertaining comedy by director Sarah Smick. It features a solid cast and very good writing by Smick and Ian Michaels that often goes against what the viewer expects. Its only weakness, and a minor one at that, is the actors too often deliver their dialogue facing the camera in close-up. I would not be surprised if Friended to Death won a few indie movie awards and developed a cult following. Friended to Death opens May 2nd 2014.
The movie is about Michael, a parking enforcement officer guy who updates his status as often as he can. Michael (played by Richard Dreyfuss lookalike Ryan Hansen) gets fired for one too many updates. Already in the dumps, he discovers that although he has 417 online friends, he may not have any real life friends. He bullies a coworker named Emile into letting him use his account to fake his own death and prove, through the expected overwhelming show of online grief, that he does have a lot of friends.
Things, of course, do not go as planned. This in part because of a rather demented woman named Sylvie (played by Sarah Smick) who is out for revenge after Michael ticketed her car, and a friend’s friend who is convinced Michael is faking his death to get some attention.
What I liked most about Friended to Death is how cleverly it plays on the viewer’s expectations. For example, an early scene establishes that Emile has a valuable collection of miniature porcelain dogs. Soon after, Michael must find a rather large sum of money. Here one plus one does not equal two.
There is a lot to like in this comedy and the ending is one.
I highly recommend Friended to Death.