Sundance 2017: Zoe Lister-Jones' Comedy 'Band Aid' is a Ton of Fun
by Alex Billington
January 25, 2017
This film is awesome. Band Aid has a fun concept: a married couple struggling to stay together decides to start a band and write songs about their fights. Written by, directed by, and starring Zoe Lister-Jones, along with an all-female crew, the film is a funny, heartfelt, thoroughly enjoyable look at relationships and love. Band Aid features a few original songs that were performed live on set while shooting, as well as with fantastic performances by the husband and wife in the relationship. Adam Pally co-stars with Zoe, and the two feel completely authentic in their depiction of a married couple stuck at a rough spot in their lives trying to figure out where to go. I very much enjoyed watching this film, and I hope audiences give it a look as well.
Zoe Lister-Jones and Adam Pally play the couple at the center of Band Aid - married, but no kids, living in Los Angeles working crap jobs just trying to get by. It's a film that speaks to my generation (anyone in their 30s or anyone at this point in their relationship), and it's an honest look at how hard it is to stay together when everything starts to feel boring and bland. Along the way, they meet Fred Armisen who they recruit as the drummer. Their decision to start a band comes about naturally, it's not forced or setup to be some over-the-top comedy. It's an indie with typical Sundance sensibilities - an earnest side to it that makes their struggles seem all the more real. But there's still plenty of humor and it's fun to watch, never feeling tedious.
My biggest complaint about Band Aid is that I wanted more songs (don't forget I'm still high on my love for La La Land). There's a couple of good songs, and a few really great moments where they sing their hearts out and give it their all, and it works wonders, but I wanted more of that. I wanted to hear an entire album that I would be happy to listen to over and over. The story itself is also a bit simple - there aren't many outside characters that affect their relationship, and neither of them get close to having an affair, for better or worse (maybe that's a good thing). That said, I still had so much fun with this and appreciated all of the important lessons it was trying to teach about communication and connection within modern relationships.
This is a fun film that is clearly made by passionate filmmakers who wanted to tell an honest story. Above all it deserves everyone's attention for being appealing to many people, not just women, not just young couples, but anyone who is trying to figure out how to make a relationship last. Maybe it will inspire other couples to start a band themselves, or just explore creative ways to overcome their problems and roadblocks. There's a good heart to this film that comes through as a good reminder that this communication, this connection, is important to a happy, healthy life. You don't have to make the same choices as everyone else, but instead of letting things get more miserable, figure out what makes both of you happy and encourage that expression.
Alex's Sundance 2017 Rating: 8 out of 10
Follow Alex on Twitter - @firstshowing