Director Brea Grant | 2012 | USA | 82 mins | New York Premiere
SCREENING: Thursday August 1 2013 | 6:30 pm
Of the 2012 apocalyptic films I’ve seen so far, Best Friends Forever offers one of the more realistic imaginings of how people would behave in such a situation. Harriet (Brea Grant) and Reba (Vera Miao) are best friends celebrating Harriet’s acceptance into graduate school for Information Science. After a house party, the two women head off on a road trip from Los Angeles to Harriet’s new school in Austin, Texas.
Somewhere close to Texas, a long shot of the road shows a nuclear explosion in the far distance behind Harriet’s car. Four nuclear bombs have been set off in different American cities, including Los Angeles, and the rest of the movie deals with how Harriet and Reba, unaware of the bombs, respond to the ensuing strange encounters on the road.
Best Friends Forever is Grant’s directorial debut, (she also wrote it with co-star Miao), and it’s an enjoyable and original film. There are clever shots and twists in the film that combine the personalities of the characters and their ignorance about the bombs with the road setting ingeniously. In one scene, carefree Reba moons a passing car while Harriet looks away in embarrassment, and both women miss seeing the car’s passengers, who are all donning black gas masks. Small, delightful scenes like this are threaded throughout the film, emphasizing the dramatic irony by playing off road movie cliches with the apocalyptic setting.
While the film handles the few action scenes awkwardly, it’s an entertaining enough film to watch because of the characters. For those who love films about the apocalypse, Best Friends Forever offers a realistic imagining of how ordinary people might react to such an inconceivable event.
For screening information at the 2013 Asian American International Film Festival: Best Friends Forever