Tag Archives: Jonathan Smith

Amorous Amigos

Guy Friends

by Rachel Willis

After Jaime (Kavita Jariwala) breaks up with her boyfriend of six years, almost every man with whom she’s shared more than one conversation suddenly professes their love for her in writer/director Jonathan Smith’s film, Guy Friends.

It’s a funny concept – the idea that men and women can’t be friends because all men want from their female friendships are relationships. Of course, just to throw us off our game a bit, Jamie’s closest friend is Ted (Justin Clark), who happens to be in love with Sandy (Katie Muldowney). In the midst of all the men throwing themselves at Jaime, Ted is a refreshing breath of normality. And Sandy provides the reality check Jamie needs to deal with her guy friends.

Smith’s writing is winning. The repetition of the men’s confessions of undying affection for Jamie lends itself to the bizarre nightmare Jamie finds herself in after her break up. She wants someone to listen to her as she mourns the loss of the man she thought was in it for the long haul, but these guys, these “friends”, all have tunnel vision. It’s as funny as it is annoying.

The overall feel of the film is less effective. The good script is hampered by a series of lackluster performances. Act breaks in the form of a documentary film interviewing women about their friendships are superfluous. They’re ham-fisted efforts to highlight the value of female friendship, something that’s balanced well in the actual film.

Jariwala bring a certain “every woman” quality to Jamie, but she’s not quite strong enough to carry the film. While most of the dialogue is great and aided by funny jokes, some of it stumbles over its unnaturalness. Several characters are introduced who aren’t given enough time to differentiate themselves. While this works for the guy friends (not ideal, but acceptable), it doesn’t work as well for the women who enter Jaime’s life. It’s hard to understand why they’re in the film in the first place.

But the film is enjoyable even so. Jamie is a well-rounded, believable character. Her confusion and innocence in finding out how her guy friends really feel is relatable. You’ve either been where Jamie is, known a guy like her guy friends, or have been that guy (even if you won’t admit it). Smith’s film is an imperfect but humorous look at how one woman deals with these guy friends.