To throw their friend Josh a memorable bachelor party, a group of friends put a deposit on a vacation house in order to spend the weekend there. But when the day comes, months later, things have changed drastically and Josh is not engaged anymore. Since the owners won’t refund the deposit and Josh feels like it would be a good opportunity to meet up and talk about what happened, they decide to spend the weekend at the house anyway. Naturally, and despite their efforts, no one is really in a festive mood. Throughout the weekend, different characters show up at the house for the stag party, bringing along some emotional baggage and problems. The result is a bittersweet comedy about friendship, loss and the role friends play in our lives. The weekend will unfold, between partying, drinking, flirting, laughing and crying, and then, life will go on.
Jeff Baena’s Joshy is the clear descendant of the mumblecore movement in independent cinema that was born in the 2000’s. At its beginnings, in classics of the subgenre like the first mumblecore film Funny Ha Ha (2002) or Joe Swanberg’s Hannah Takes the Stairs (2007), the storyline was minimal, the actors were muttering improvised lines and the film had a grainy aesthetic. Nowadays, the film direction feels much more professional and the performances are impeccable. What is left is the feeling of watching a movie made by a group of buddies (Joshy features Joe Swanberg and his family; Baena’s girlfriend, Aubrey Plaza; and filmmaker Alex Ross Perry in a highly pleasing role) and of course the mumblecore spirit, which is small details, in appearance not transcendental, leading to existential and transgenerational themes. Joshy manages to pull that off in a light comedy, at times intense and profound, where men don’t make such a good impression, and women seem to have some things left to figure out as well. A small gem.
2016: Sundance Film Festival
2016: Leiden International Film Festival
2016: American Film Festival Poland
Runtime: 93 min
Direction: Jeff Baena
Screenplay: Jeff Baena
Cinematography: Patrice Lucien Cochet
OST: Devendra Banhart
Cast: Middleditch, Adam Pally, Alex Ross Perry, Aubrey Plaza, Joe Swanberg
Genre: Comedy, drama