Band Aid Review: A Subtly Epic Film about the Struggles of Marriage
Band Aid starring Adam Pally and Zoe Lister-Jones tells the hilarious and heartbreaking story of Anna and Ben, a married couple struggling through their self-admitted mediocre lives, putting the pieces together after a devastating loss. Anna, the typical A-type personality is uptight and overly emotional and Ben is the carefree, emotionless, and apathetic husband. In an attempt to stop their endless fighting, they decide to form a band as a way to vent their emotions and use the music to air out their fights and frustrations. The result, as you can imagine, is pure genius. The music is creative and always has those nuggets of truth we all have in our relationships. This film is incredibly relatable and even painfully true to life in some moments. As a married woman, I see myself very much in Anna’s character and my husband in Ben. This film has created such a relatable and everyday story but made it incredibly fun and therapeutic.
Adam Pally as Ben is phenomenal. His performance is so nuanced where at first he plays the carefree apathetic husband, but as the film progresses we get to see many different sides of him. It is one of my favorite Adam Pally performances of all time. Zoe Lister-Jones as Anna is perfect. As a woman, I resent her in the beginning of the film and I can’t place why and it is about halfway through that I realize that you see your own imperfections and ridiculousness in Anna and you don’t like how that makes you feel. The performance is top-notch and some of the best emotional scenes I’ve seen in a long time. Anna puts on makeup and just has a freak out session with herself. This scene was so cathartic and really gives us time to appreciate the frustration and range of emotions that Anna is managing within herself. Fred Armisen was a huge surprise but a joy in this film. His deadpan delivery and awkward character, Dave gives the perfect nuance to the film that provides comedic relief for the tension between Ben and Anna.
The writing in the film is sharp and poignant. It doesn’t work to sugarcoat the fights or the relationship between Anna and Ben. There are moments in the film that are truly tense and painful for Anna and Ben as well as the audience. We have all been in that argument where you’ve taken it just a little too far and said something way too painful and hurtful to your significant other. Zoe Lister-Jones’ writing in this film seeks to uncover the true nature of relationships, the ugliness, the pettiness, but also the joy and love. The scene in which Ben is talking to his mother about Anna and she offers him advice is stellar. The truth and honesty in that moment are perfect and I don’t think there has been a better explanation of the differences between men and women in a very long time. Zoe Lister-Jones does spectacular work with balancing the weight of the relationship and their loss with comedic moments and even with the small scenes where Anna is an Uber driver. Zoe has a real talent for encapsulating the everyday moment into a cinematic moment without much gravitas or fanfare but still reserves the beauty, comedy, or devastation of that moment. It is amazing and beautiful to watch.
Band Aid is a wonderful, relatable and realistic story of the struggles a couple must face together after a loss. It is painfully accurate and delightfully hilarious. Adam Pally and Zoe Lister-Jones are pure magic together on screen. They give us the story of Anna and Ben in all their beautiful and flawed glory, solidifying that it is not just you, all marriages are insane. Zoe Lister-Jones as the triple threat, director, actress, and writer is a force and gives us one of the best romantic comedies in years!