Your Friends & Neighbors (1998)

What a bunch of assholes.

Director Neil LaBute excels at creating cynical characters loosed in an unredeemable world. Jason Patric plays a narcissistic stud who swaggeringly comes on to anything in a skirt. Oh yeah, and he’s a jerk to his friends (Ben Stiller, Aaron Eckhart), too.

This is written and directed by LaBute who created a storm with his first film, In the Company of Men, which is about two guys taking advantage of this one woman. And, needless to say this film isn’t any different.

I think the one thing about this film is that it paints a great portrait of sex and love. Much of this credit goes to the writing from LaBute who gives us this darkly funny dialogue about these couples and how each one betrays the other with sex. Basically the film is all talking, and it stays interesting at most points with its dialogue.

But that is also where the problem lies. The film is so so talky, that nothing else really happens other than screwing and talking(which in some ways can be considered the same thing, I gotta million of em!). And for some people who don’t like these dialogue filled movies, they will find themselves at a lost here, much ado to the incredibly slow pace.

Also, though the film is very funny I actually didn’t find it to be very happy by the last hour or so. Actually, mostly the film made me depressed with the ways these people were actually carrying themselves. The film doesn’t show any bright sides to these people’s lives and although they make a lot of sex, and talk about love, they never seem in love and are never happy no matter what they do.

The one thing that really did it for me was the performances from the stellar cast. Throughout the whole film I was just simply astonished by Jason Patric as the misogynistic doctor. He plays the utterly unlikable and cocky of a character that at times you want to smash his face in, but at other times you want to be like him. There is one scene where its just him for like 10 minutes and he really just gives it all out there, and its great. I also found Stiller to be equally as awkward and nervous as he is in other movies playing himself and wasn’t surprised here, and I liked Eckhart as a guy that I felt so sympathetic for in the end, that I just wanted to give him a big hug. Catherine Keener, I though was a huge bitch in this and I really didn’t like her character at all, and I found myself wondering as to why anybody would want to even be with her, there’s probably one scene where I was actually glad she was upset after it, cause she is such a bitch.

Consensus: With great performances from the cast, and realistic/funny dialogue, Your Friends & Neighbors give a good look on relatinships, but shows a bleack and slow-moving film that will sort of bore some people by the end.



  1. I like films with slow-moving realistic dialogue, but the characters being unpleasant worries me a little. The trailer looks good.

    I thought “In the Company of Men” was interesting as a concept and the dialogue kept me on edge, but I agree the characters are fairly unlikeable.

    • It’s slow, but realistic and true dialogue. It’s just that these people are so unlikeable to a point of you kind of don’t want to watch them.

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