Spirit Of Friendship Image

Spirit Of Friendship

By Bobby LePire | May 16, 2024

Writer-director Danny LeGare, known for his horror films, takes a refreshing turn with Spirit Of Friendship. The narrative unfolds when Billy’s children, in a poignant moment, express their longing for their late grandfather. This prompts Billy to share a childhood tale of grief and loss, intertwined with the essence of friendship, as the title suggests.

Young Billy (Carter Grassi) misses his mom very much. His dad (Glen Nicholes Jr.) doesn’t talk about her, leading the middle schooler to believe that he wishes to forget about her. But his best friends, Jake (Dante Corticelli) and Mike (Luca Corticelli) tell Billy of a ritual they discovered that will allow someone to speak to the dead. He jumps at the chance, using his mom’s favorite crossword book. But things at the cemetery don’t go as planned, and Billy’s mom doesn’t manifest. However, a gentleman named Leonard (Sal Rendino) does, though he only appears when Billy is alone and in need of someone to talk to.

Meanwhile, at the coaxing of Jake and Mike, Billy begins hanging out with the girl he fancies, Emma (Delaney Miclette). Her friends, Harper (McKenna Jordan) and Abby (Brinna Gleason), don’t think much of Billy, though. Is Leonard a helpful specter or just a friendly man also visiting a grave? Will Billy’s dad fight through the pain of his memories and reconnect with his son? Will Billy and Emma ever admit their true feelings for each other?

“…he only appears when Billy is alone and in need of someone to talk to.”

Spirit Of Friendship is a sweet, heartwarming drama the whole family can enjoy. The friendships between the young main cast feel authentic, even when their delivery is only so-so. Grassi is quite good throughout, but Luca Corticelli is a bit stiff at times. The dialogue sometimes sounds like it’s trying too hard to use the proper “hip lingo of the day and, therefore, is not doing so. Then there’s the matter of when the bulk of the film takes place. London is in his 50s. Admittedly, he looks good for his age. But his young self is using a smartphone and saying words that weren’t about until much more recently. It’s an odd choice not to go full period piece here, putting the story into a strange and noticeable limbo in terms of its setting.

But there’s still plenty to appreciate here. London, as the narrator looking back at his character’s youthful days, is appropriately fun, funny, dour, and dramatic. Rendino steals every scene as the well-meaning, approachable, possibly dead guy. And again, even when they don’t fully inhabit their parts, the core group of kids plays off each other nicely, and their friendship feels realistic and carries much of the action.

Beyond that, the score and the soundtrack of Spirit Of Friendship are quite good. The music excellently underpins the emotions and would be a fun listen outside of the film’s context. But the most significant saving graces here are the message (see the title) and the direction. LeGare and director of photography Tyler Saari have the camera swoop, slide, dive, track, and crane quite often. Nary is there just a static shot, which gives the whole affair a sense of urgent despair, matching Billy’s internal turmoil and grief.

Spirit Of Friendship tells a sweet, well-meaning story with a heartwarming message. While there are some issues here and there, the film’s willingness to show the meaner side of childhood (bullies exist and don’t care if you are grieving) makes it a solid watch for parents and their children. The cast is mostly quite good, and the themes resonate even after the credits are finished rolling.

For more information about Spirit Of Friendship, visit the Burden Media site.

Spirit Of Friendship (2024)

Directed and Written: Danny LeGare

Starring: Jeremy London, Carter Grassi, Delaney Miclette, Sal Rendino, Glen Nicholes Jr., Dante Corticelli, Luca Corticelli, McKenna Jordan, Brinna Gleason, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Spirit Of Friendship Image

"…a sweet, heartwarming drama the whole family can enjoy."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon