'The Get Together' succeeds with its simplicity
THE GET TOGETHER (2021)
A film that takes place (almost) entirely at a weekend party is a tough nut to crack; if you put the idea of a party in anyone’s head and direct them to make a film about it we generally get something in the vein of Project X or Sisters. The Get Together may be categorized as a comedy, but “comedy” can go so many ways, and with Will Bakke’s choices here we are delivered a quality dramedy about the inter-looping of these partygoers' stories.
Directed and co-written by Will Bakke, the film is beautifully simple with the entire film taking place primarily within one location. The Get Together feels real, and apart from a few instances of overacting, nails what an on the verge of “grown up” party looks like. I sensed the interconnecting pieces coming together with every new part introduced to create an expertly crafted film that while directed professionally, retains the charm of what a passionate amateur filmmaker would produce. Some of the best aspects of the film are those that are the most subtle, such as the perfect lighting of the film, bringing about a neon glow hovering over the entirety of the picture. The film is easy to look at and makes you want to tag along during this “reunion” of sorts.
The film is separated into three parts with three different points of view of the party going on. A woman realizes that her roommate has been lying to her, a man struggles to find the right moment to propose, and a man reunites with an old fling. The first part of the story follows August and her faulty relationship with her roommate. Starting with an amusing situation where the two are attempting to slaughter a captured rat all while shrieking from the idea of it, this small intro is a great way to introduce the film. However immediately after we get to know August and her entire gimmick of shouting aggressively – obviously the outcast trying to fit in with the group. As her story expands and leads us to the actual get together and we witness a fight break out, it becomes a predictable affair, it actually makes you reconsider finishing it. Luckily the story is just beginning to build and parts two and three save the salvageable aspects of the opening act.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Aside from Courtney Parchman who plays August, I found the entire cast delightful, even the “villain” of the film (Preston Flagg) who is co-hosting the party is a delightful menace (he just doesn’t like people messing with his things, we can all relate). This was a wonderful surprise to go into a party themed film and find a solid cast of characters that can be related back to literally anyone in real life; we all know at least one or two of each of these personality types. Among the cast, Alejandro Rose-Garcia is the true stand out of the film, as you felt for his feelings about the situation but also appreciated his acceptance of what the party had in store for him, and he’s one of the only characters we actually see throughout all three parts of the story. Truthfully besides August and her roommate McCall (Luxy Banner), every single character you can entirely relate somewhat to their actions and get behind them. August is just trying to fit in and gives off serious Beanie Feldstein vibes and it is too much too often.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
The film is appealing with its realistic take on an ordinary house party, yet it’s glowing in the darkness. Full of people, alcohol, and a pool in the backyard, the house is the ideal spot for a residential house party, and it feels great to attend. It’s essentially the party Jonah Hill and Michael Cera crash to steal the “laundry detergent” booze, and it's great to see that type of party expanded on, especially from an invited perspective.
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
It sounds like a party all right, with the surrounding background noise of unrecognizable music and talking. I’d love to attend a party like this among old friends, as this feels like a simple get together with some steam behind it.
Movies that attempt to be clever like this with time jumps and different character progressions happening at the same time as the other can be awful if poorly thought out, but where many others go wrong, The Get Together succeeds with its simplicity. There are multiple POVs throughout, but ultimately the story is easy to navigate, and that makes the final act so much more worth it because director Will Bakke makes you feel like a bystander at this party watching these people’s nights play their course.