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Slacker comedy The Mend dissects the debt ridden generation

03/09/2015

Featuring a startling turn by Josh Lucas, The Mend is a biting comedy on family neglect, sibling rivalry and gutter philosophising. Accent Film are releasing the U.S. indie October 21.

One night in Harlem, sour, aging Mat (Lucas) reunites with his younger brother Alan (Stephen Plunkett), just before Alan heads out for a long-planned vacation with his live-in girlfriend Farrah (Mickey Sumner from The End of the Tour). Only days later, much sooner than expected, Alan returns home from his vacation to find his apartment commandeered by Mat, Mat's girlfriend, and Mat's girlfriend's son. As doors slam and the power gives out and the threads of family fray, a mystery lingers: why has Alan returned home without Farrah?

Written and directed by John Magary, with story credits to Russell Harbaugh and Myna Joseph, The Mend walks a fine line of comic ruefulness and despairing angst in its depiction of sibling rivalry and slacker Gen X values in a millenial world. The dialogue also crackles: "Your voice! Someone should bottle it up and throw it at terrorists."

Nominated Best Picture Athens International Film Festival and nominated American Independent Award Denver International Film Festival, The Mend was also nominated Grand Jury Award SXSW Film Festival. The reviews from critics have been uniformly glowing.

"It's a tough film to shake, a slice-of-life that slices, knifelike," writes Alan Scherstuhl in the Village Voice. "It's a funny drama of brothers that first makes you hate its prickly leads but then, after steeping you in their bottomed-out day-to-day, might inspire you to hope for them."

Nicolas Rapold in the New York Times notes, "Directing his first feature after some shorts, John Magary digs into his characters with fresh eyes and a sly sense of adventure."

"By turns opaque, harsh, self-aware, indulgent and wickedly funny," observes Robert Abele in the Los Angeles Times. "It's never dull, pummeling you with its prickly smarts."

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