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CFF 2014 Review: Afterparty

After his brother’s wedding, Charlie (Graham Coffeng) brings a group of his high school friends over to his brother’s empty house to continue the evening’s festivities. While the reunion is a joyous one at first, past tensions arise and the mood of the evening takes a turn for the worst.

The film often feels very uneven, with many of the scenes feeling like they are shorts that have been stitched together to create a feature. Conflicts seem to be both created and solved in the same scene, which really breaks up the flow of the film. Another issue the film struggles with is that there are far too many characters. Afterparty is just under 90 minutes, which is not nearly enough time to get to know the nine main characters enough to actually care what happens to them.

For the most part, the acting in the film is only subpar. Two cast members that did stand out were Ali Liebert and Nicholas Carella, as Tracy and Bruce. The two gave a great amount of depth to their characters, with what little screen time they had. In fact, they actually share what is probably the strongest scene in the film, in which Tracy breaks in to an intimate moment between Bruce and Hailey (Emma Lahana) to criticize Bruce’s poor attempt to woo her. Surrounding that strong scene are many weak ones including an overlong dance montage, and an awkward pool scene.

Ultimately the film is rather forgettable, but it is in no way hard to watch. It’s simply a mediocre film, with an unoriginal plot, filled with unoriginal characters. That being said, Afterparty isn’t a complete waste of an hour and a half.

[star v=25]

Matt Hoffman

Matthew Hoffman is a Toronto-based cinephile who especially enjoys French films and actresses over the age of 50; including but not limited to: Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Streep, and Jacki Weaver.

  • Emperors Clothes

    Bravo. This is an honest review. No need to praise mediocrity or even some films that have massive fails in them. My problem, outside of all the things you mention, was how the lead character/actor tries to cry for 5 minutes in 2 different scenes and can’t so he and the director and the editor make the audience watch this and watch it for way too long. It is so awkward. They should have reshot the scene or taken it out. 1 of the rules of acting is, if you can’t cry, then don’t. This key moment makes this not a film, but an amateur exercise, playing with a camera. Praising poor films will not make anyone better. And, sadly I’m sure the actors and the director and the editor know the truth.