Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
Andrew Bujalski’s funny and perceptive observation of an incipient ménage à trois is set on the fringes of the indie-pop world in hipster Brooklyn. Alan, an aspiring alt-rocker, arrives in town, and tries to stay focused on finding a drummer, but succumbs to numerous distractions, including his good friend’s girlfriend. The scene is set for a deadpan comedy of pregnant pauses, wordy uncertainty and chronic non-commitment. Working with a script tailored to a non-professional cast of friends, Bujalski applies the methods of Mike Leigh and John Cassavetes to skewer the exquisite self-consciousness of a new generation.
“Mutual Appreciation nails the walk and talk of twentysomething iPeople like nothing else. [This movie] get[s] so deep in the heads of [its] shy, vigilant, sweet-natured protagonists that every passive-aggressive blip and conversational tic registers onscreen with beyond-doc authenticity… No one can match his knack for the rhythms, inflections, and syntactic hiccups of everyday speech – the mumbled, fumbled ABC’s of Gens X, Y, and Z.” — Nathan Lee, Slate