Directed by Jesse Zwick
A circle of twenty-something friends reunite for a weekend away to console a suicidal member of their group. Yet, despite their best efforts to enjoy themselves, a tinderbox of old jealousies, unrequited love, and widening political differences leads to an explosion of drama that, coupled with the flammable combination of drugs, wine, and risotto, cannot be contained. A Big Chill for our current social media moment, About Alex is a lighthearted look at the struggles of a generation that has it all—and wants more.
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★★★½ review by Michael Vazquez on Letterboxd
The second time that both Aubrey Plaza & Max Minghella are in a movie about friends reuniting and I like this one slightly more. Plus, a bearded and glass-wearing Max Greenfield is about as cool as it gets.
★★★★ review by Andrew on Letterboxd
Suicide is seen as a taboo subject. People don't like to talk about it and the subject is skirted around, whether it be in real life or in movies and television. So, About Alex makes the bold move of making an entire film centered around the aftermath of a suicide attempt.
After Alex (Jason Ritter) makes an attempt on his own life, his friends decide to come visit him at his cabin to try and cheer him up. The group consists of his former college buddies Sarah (Aubrey Plaza), Josh (Max Greenfield), Siri (Maggie Grace), Ben (Nate Parker), and Isaac (Max Minghella) who brings his girlfriend Kate (Jane Levy). What ensues is the exploration of the characters emotional states and their relationships with each other.
I mentioned at the beginning of my review how the topic of suicide is often swept under the rug. That is how the movie starts until at one point Josh forces the groups hand to talk about Alex's suicide attempt. Alex says that he wanted to die but he really didn't want to die. He just wanted to connect with his best friend when he needed support the most. He saw no way out of the dark hole and tried to reach a lifeline but was never thrown one. So instead, he lets himself sink at the moment where all hope is lost but then realizing that his life was precious and he was scared he grabbed on to whatever he could and sought out help, calling an ambulance. He cried out for help, not out of any selfishness on his part, he was hurting and sometimes the hurt is too much. And he just wanted love, love from his best friend. His cry for help was never to hurt anyone else, he was just tired of his own hurting. And, Alex did have his friends there with him afterwards.
Being an ensemble film all the actors did a great job especially Aubrey Plaza and Max Greenfield. Usually I find characters like Greenfield's Josh annoying but I actually liked his character here. I also think this is the first time that I've seen Aubrey Plaza play a normal person! I didn't realize this until recently but Jason Ritter is actually the son of the late John Ritter, the wonderful actor of Three's Company fame. Jason does a great job here and convey's a sense of innocence but at the same time a deep hurt and sadness.
For me I think one of the biggest flaws of the film is the fact that everytime time a song was played you would know what the scene was going to be about. The song selection was just a little too on the nose for me.
This film is an important one. Dealing with issies such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, and suicide. Just remeber, sometimes, people will be lucky that they have people who love them, waiting to pick them up when they fall. And sometimes they may not. But above all just remeber one thing, you got this. I believe in you.
★★★★★ review by Robert Lalonde on Letterboxd
I gave this film a lot of flac the first time viewing and frankly I didn't give it the true respect it deserves. It might be one of the true gems of the modern era. I think it was maybe too close to home with reactions towards people the first time viewing it. But I wasn't as engaged with the suicide as I was this time with events as of late. It really took actual events in my life to truly get this film. I think it's a must watch film again.
★★★★★ review by Deena Edwards on Letterboxd
There are some movies that you watch, and afterwards for whatever the reason, you know it’s going to be a movie that will stick with you for a long time. About Alex was one of those movies for me. I never really had the whole college experience; you know, the big group of friends hanging out and then reuniting after so long. For the most part, I’ve had the same group of friends since elementary school, give or take a few others. But I was still able to connect with this movie. Anyone can, really, if you’ve ever had friends that have drifted apart, or if you’ve ever been the one in the friendship that tries so hard to keep it afloat while everyone else moves on with their lives and you start to feel left behind. I’ve been through this; I’ve felt a lot of the things that Alex has felt, and that’s what made me love this movie. It’s beautifully done and amazingly casted. I’ll admit, I came for Aubrey Plaza and Max Greenfield. But every single character in this movie is so believable and important to the story. The comedy was subtle, not forced, and mixed well with how dark it really all was. Overall, I give this movie five stars, covered in my tears, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who appreciates rare gems such as these.
★★★★ review by Ms_Zero 🦄 on Letterboxd
Film #8 of September 2018 Scavenger Hunt
Task #8. A film from your watch list.
Phenomenal cast! Easy to watch, relatable, and heartfelt story.
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