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With: Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally, Fred Armisen, Susie Essman, Hannah Simone, Ravi Patel, Jorma Taccone, Jesse Williams, Brooklyn Decker, Jaime Chung, Erinn Hayes, Chris D'Elia, Colin Hanks
Written by: Zoe Lister-Jones
Directed by: Zoe Lister-Jones
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 91
Date: 06/02/2017
IMDB

Band Aid (2017)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Song Stress

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Indie actress/screenwriter Zoe Lister-Jones makes her directing debut with this comedy-drama, and while the frequent arguing make it a less-than-pretty experience, it's impressively, emotionally real.

In Band Aid, married couple Anna (Zoe Lister-Jones) and Ben (Adam Pally) can't stop fighting, over just about anything, including the kitchen sink. At a kids birthday party, they pick up some toy instruments and improvise a song; it's the most fun they've had together in a long time. Later, Anna has the idea that they should try to set all their fights to music.

They recruit their strange neighbor, recovering sex addict Dave (Fred Armisen) to be the drummer, and things go great for a while. But then things take a new turn, and their past troubles with trying to have a baby come to the fore. And Anna and Ben have the biggest fight of their lives. Can music save them this time?

For a long time, it's difficult to get behind the characters in Band Aid, who are shown at their worst right from the get-go. But, eventually, their conversations and their back-and-forth bickering begin to sound amazingly real; each character comes from a place of three-dimensional wants and needs, and no screenwriting shortcuts have been taken.

Armisen, while very funny here, is the only oddball. He doesn't quite fit, seeming more like an "SNL" character than anyone you might know. (His sex addict character lives with two beautiful women with funny names — played by Erinn Hayes and Jamie Chung — whom he finds "repulsive.") But he's still quite likable.

A highlight, of course, is the music. The songs are simple, but extremely effective and sometimes quite powerful thanks to the players' honest performances. In the end, Band Aid hits more right notes than it does sour ones.

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