College is a time when many young people find a sense of themselves outside of supervision. You gain experiences you’ll talk about for a lifetime. In most cases, gain lifelong friends. However, that time is not forever. Those four years go by in a blink and the next thing you know, everything changes. You’re expected to become an adult and take on all the responsibility that comes with it. As time goes on, people change and the life that you clung to does as well. The Get Together centers on one big party on a particular night. Director Will Bakke and co-writer Michael B. Allen decided to tell this story in three chapters with four different characters. Each of them with a different post-graduate dilemma that weaves in and out of each other.
August (Courtney Parchman) and McCall (Luxy Banner) have been long-time best friends and roommates. Where McCall has things together, August is still slacking in a post-college malaise – taking work as an Uber driver. McCall goes to a party without August, and as fate would have it, August shows up. Leading to a revelatory situation where she meets McCall’s upcoming roommate, Lacie (Koko Marshall). On the other hand, Damien (Jacob Artist) has every intention to propose to his girlfriend, Betsy (Johanna Braddy), but a chance meeting with an old high school friend, Lucas (C. Bailey Werner) complicates things. Lastly, Caleb (Alejandro Rose-Garcia) is part of a local band that lives with some sort of regret. It deals with his history with Betsy and what went down when they had a brief romance. As they see each other for the first time in a while, they have to deal with all of that.
This film has instances of party hijinks as do other party-oriented films. Damien and Lucas go on their own storyline as Damien tries to propose and Lucas tries to help him. Albeit, getting in the way, but well-intentioned. The part of the second act where Damien and Lucas frantically search for the lost ring falls into conventional subplot territory. There is also the crazy host character in Garrison (Preston Flagg), a guy who is adversely against anybody going into the pool. Where The Get Together finds its footing is the instances of epiphany that happens. What do you do when you’ve been away from old friends for so long, and it feels like they’ve carried on without you? Maybe you have a best friend, and they decide to get other friends. Would that make you feel threatened? If the one that got away came back for one night, would you do anything to get that person back? These are questions and situations that many people have pondered. While these things might be too extensive to be answered in one sitting, in this format, it comes together naturally.
With a run time that’s a little over an hour, The Get Together doesn’t over-explain anything. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, even though there is a lot more to explore with these characters if they wanted to. The audience will get a sense that most of these characters have genuine histories with one another through conversation. Also, the ending doesn’t go for the ones that neatly wrap things up where everybody is happy at the end. Sometimes, you can’t go backward and that can be heartbreaking. Especially when it is the expectations you set for other people. Even though we revisit the ‘good ole days’ at a lively backyard party, we can’t stay stuck in time.
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Photo Credit: Vertical Entertainment.