What makes Banana Split, so astonishing is its story—written by the film’s star Hannah Marks and co-writer Joey Power. The script is fearless, and the four members of this love triangle (I know) are brilliantly created and well-developed characters.
Fearless. That’s how I would describe the friendship between April and Clara. The two bond over their sexual experience with Nick and realize this is not healthy. Then they choose to hide their friendship from Nick and then put Ben right into the middle of it. As the friendship builds and grows more robust, a tiny drop of jealousy poisons it to set up a satisfying third act.
“This film is not really about the guy, but then it is.”
Maybe what I love most about this story is how it goes in many directions you’d never expect, with the most important direction being the friendship between April and Clara. This film is not really about the guy, but then it is.
Banana Split is very much a comedy, but it doesn’t rely on juvenile jokes for a laugh. Instead, it takes this unusual love triangle to the worst place it can go for each side of the triangle, plus Ben. The comedic highlight for me comes when April invites Clara to join her mother and sister for dinner. The night ends with her mother screaming the laugh-out-loud funniest punchline of the film.
I can’t recommend Banana Split any more than I have. Sweet, funny, cringe-worthy, and a testament to the importance of high school friendships. Let me also add the descriptor “smart” to the script and the writers’ storytelling. I appreciate scripts that are not lazy and digs deep and has something to say about relationships. I feel like I’m overselling this, but Banana Split works from start to finish and comes highly recommended.
"…sweet, funny, cringe-worthy, and a testament to the importance of high school friendships"