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‘Banana Split’ Review: a new concept of high school friendship

akagi1945

Member
Few genres are as beholden to tropes than the romantic comedy, which has long traded in predictable patterns, both the good (meet-cutes, will-they-won’t-theys) and the very bad (pitting so-called friends against each other in service to new relationships). The path to love never did run smooth, but too many love stories seem to delight in running over people on the way to eternal bliss. It’s a trope that’s been used as plot (“This Means War,” “The Layover”) and as a dirty little garnish (“Something Borrowed,” “Bride Wars”), always fortifying the most basic and bland of lessons: Romantic love is more important than anything else.

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It’s a trope long due for a refresher. One way: jettison the emphasis on romantic love and lean into the value of friendship, a twist that’s been used to great effect in “Booksmart” and “For a Good Time, Call.” Both films placed a premium on the platonic BFF-ships and use the rom-com structure to tell a different kind of love story, with edifying results. Benjamin Kasulke’s “Banana Split” is the next great example of that charming trend: It doesn’t diminish the genre, but drives home its strengths.
 

akagi1945

Member
Co-written by star Hannah Marks — a young multi-hyphenate on the rise who impresses more with every turn — and Joey Power (who also wrote and directed the similarly genre-flipping rom-com “After Everything” with Marks), “Banana Split” upends genre convention to embrace the power of friendship. April (Marks) is grieving from the one-two punch of breaking up with her longtime boyfriend Nick (Dylan Sprouse) and graduating high school. When she discovers he’s already snagged a new girlfriend, Clara (Liana Liberato), her pain goes even deeper.
 
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