I’D LIKE TO START this review by saying that I commend anyone who has the guts to create something, and put that thing out into the world for consumption and criticism by others. I mean, who am I? I’ve never written a movie! I just blather my dumb opinion about movies for this little paper. I especially don’t want to rag on Portland creators. This town is losing a lot of its scrappy artistic cred, and god forbid something I write here should dissuade anybody from writing and trying. Obviously, I’m not important enough to negatively influence anyone, but I’d still like to preface this review with my unwavering support and awe of people who make things, and my admission that I am a hack. Here we go.
Best Fake Friends is a new indie film written by two Portlanders, and it was shot in Portland. It’s horrible. I’m sorry. I hate saying that. I’d rather say something nice! But even a hack has to have some level of integrity, and I want to be honest: Best Fake Friends was excruciating to watch and I hated every second of it. The film is described as a dark comedy, but I feel like it was intended to be a psychological thriller that turned out so terribly they tried to spin it into a comedy, à la The Room. It’s about a milquetoast mom (Lauren Bowles) who moves with her terrible family to “Portland,” which is clearly Lake Oswego, where she’s befriended by a gang of West Coast Stepford Wives who say “namaste” to each other and go shopping and blow teenagers for drugs.
The best I can hope for Best Fake Friends is that it is recognized widely enough as a terrible film that it develops a fanbase who will later quote it incessantly and the stars can appear at second-tier comic cons. And it’s neat it was filmed in Portland!