Like many films of this ilk, it brings together a disparate group of people who shouldn’t be friends in the first place.

by Martin Hafer

A recent trend that seems overused in independent navel-gazers, is the creation of scripts with groups of people who are friends but have no business being friends in the first place. In other words, when you think about these characters, they simply have nothing in common and are more clich├ęs or formulaic than realistic people.

Life Just Is
Written & Directed by
Alex Barrett
Will de Meo, Jack Gordon, Nathaniel Martello-White
Release Date
26 March 2015
Martin’s Grade: D+

This isn’t just true in comedies like the Hangover or Bridesmaids‘ films but in dramas as well, such as in the new British indie film Life Just Is. There are many of the usual formulaic characters (such as the gay character, the black character, etc.) but you keep wondering why they spend time together. And, by the end of the movie, I was still wondering. Why be friends with someone you don’t like or someone who treats you terribly?!

Life Just Is is the debut effort by writer-director Alex Barrett and starts off on an inauspicious note. As four friends are watching the ending of some movie, it concludes and one of them says “Well that’s an hour-and-a-half of my life I won’t get back.” Then a couple more friends are soon introduced. Soon after this, you learn that one of their acquaintances has died and the way these mostly 20-somethings respond to this is what makes up the remainder of the film.

In many ways, it’s a bit like The Big Chill…but without the music or the energy (in fact, there isn’t any music and this is very noticeable). But it’s also much talkier–with folk mostly sitting around talking, using uninteresting dialogue. Maybe I’m just the wrong demo for this type of film but I believe a film should be accessible to almost everyone.

I certainly wouldn’t rush to see Life Just Is but I did see potential and hope that the filmmakers and actors use this experience as a springboard to greater things.

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