However, the viewer is also subjected to their erratic mood swings, particularly when dealing with each other, in which they are simultaneously codependent and narcissistic. For buddies, who profess deep affection and undying friendship—complete with saccharine ursine nicknames, they are unbelievably cruel and thoughtless toward each other.
No one questions Junior’s pain syndrome, resulting from a car crash she survived. She has elaborate ceremonies and special clothing to deal with her varying levels of pain. Her suffering and emotional response to the illness is very public. Mads, by contrast, never complains about her diabetes. Her insulin pump is visible at one point when she’s working out, but she bears the illness with stoic dignity. Real-world note here: Jennifer Stone actually has Type 1 diabetes and wanted to include that condition for her character to raise awareness.
“…there is an audience who will appreciate the highs and lows in the relationship between the two women…”
The general wisdom of film writing is that the more specific and detailed a situation is, the more generally it applies as relatable and sympathetic. This notion falls apart with Mads and Junior as we endure pointless time trapped in the car with them while they are either being unbearably infantile, or horrible to each other or jamming out singing along to their favorite tunes, which, if not your favorite tune, goes on for far too long.
It’s tempting to say the characters are unrealistic, but the fact is you probably know people like Mads and Junior, so in that regard, the film authentically captures the angst and ennui of particular people from a particular generation. Sometimes the situations are so unflinchingly real they are cringe-inducing.
The writing is solid. The film is nicely photographed. Unlike the immaturity of her character, first-time director Mindy Bledsoe shows great maturity and promise as a filmmaker.
This film is not for everyone, but there is an audience who will appreciate the highs and lows in the relationship between the two women as they navigate the harsh realities of their world, lacking the adult skills and temperament to do so.
"…there are transcendent moments of pure gold."