Your Friends And Neighbors

rated R starring Ben Stiller, Aaron Eckhart, Jason Patric, Catherine Keener, Amy Brenneman, and Nastassja Kinski.
written and directed by Neil LaBute.

Neil LaBute is no longer an independent filmmaker. So what if his follow-up to the unforgettably disturbing(yet ashamedly brilliant) IN THE COMPANY OF MEN is released by an independent company. An independent filmmaker needs independent thoughts. Neil LaBute is trying to diguise the fact that YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS is almost exactly the same film as its's predecessor. The film isn't bad, though. It's about three men and three women. Two couples, two singles, two bisexuals. All cheating on each other. None of them know about it. This sets up a film that features not one outdoor scene. And you thought IN THE COMPANY OF MEN made you feel claustrophobic. Ben Stiller's character(this film features no use of names) is a high school drama teacher who begins the film with a line that rings true throughout. It's all about fu**ing. Speaking of that, Ben Stiller is doing to his best friend's(Eckhart) wife(Brenneman), as his best friend is doing to his wife(Keener), as Stiller's wife is doing to an artsist's assistant(Kinski), who everyone bumps into at the same exact spot asking the same exact questions with their own little twist. Jason Patric is a friend who says his best lay ever was a 15 year old boy that him and his friends sodomized. The men are the attrocious ones that seem exactly like the characters in "...Men". Even Aaron Eckhart, who gained 50 pounds for his role, and looks nothing alike the beast he played in "...Men", is an asshole. Women are put down so much throughout the film that I can't imagine a woman liking it. Yet, there is a saving grace. The brilliant dialogue, the jazzy feel, and the good acting. What makes LaBute so gifted is that he can drive a person insane just through his dialogue, which film students and the sort can enjoy, but who wants to see a film that isn't the least bit moving or thought-provoking. Nothing happens for the good in this film, and it ends the same way it begins...sickening. This film was gonna be NC-17 without a hint of nudity. Neil LaBute can be proud of that as an accomplishment, but in the age of entertainment, we're looking for something else.***