2015 MSP International Film Festival: Bread and Butter

MSPIFFI got to attend the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival a few weeks ago and was extremely grateful that they would give yours truly a press pass. Because of work I wasn’t able to see everything but I did manage to see a few ones that I wanted to share with you.

Bread and butte 3Cast:  Christine Weatherup, Bobby Moynihan, Lauren Lapkus
Writer and Director: Liz Manashil

There are some things that I find frustrating about most romantic comedies. For example, I hate it when a guy who lives at home and has the personality of a 4th grader. For some reason is seen as a better catch because the main girl’s current boyfriend is a douche bag because he forgot her birthday. He may have been working to try and pay for her apartment and those self help yoga classes. Same thing could be said with the whole manic pixie dream girl thing but luckily I haven’t seen that cliche used much lately. Ruby Sparks being a really good example of how that type of character could be both good and bad. It’s also kind of upsetting when a person acts like a complete bitch/asshole(you chose which one works best) throughout the whole movie. Then they do one nice thing and for some reason that is enough for our lead character to forgive everything that they have done in the past. But I guess my biggest complaint about romantic comedies is that people fall in love way too fast. I can understand people lusting after each other at first sight, but to fall in love with someone. I think would take more work. The best thing about Bread and Butter is that it features characters we can all relate to . I’m not saying that you will relate to each of their personalities as your own. I’m just saying that you will find certain aspects of their persona intriguing. At one moment in your life, you may have used them or are still using.

Bread and Butter 1Amelia(Christine Weatherup) is in her late 30’s, lives alone, and has never dated. She spends her days working for a life coach named Dr. Wellburn(Eric Lang) and is still a virgin. Dr. Wellburn wants Amelia to get laid(do people still use that term or am I getting old) so he teams her up with a patient named Daniel( Bobby Moynihan). A man who is as awkward about dating as she is, but they still have a lot in common so it works well for both of them. One day Amelia is looking through some old books,when she finds something of interest written in the margins of one of them.(I should start doing that but I’m not sure which sections women write in the most) Our heroine goes out to track down said writer and meets Leonard(Micah Hauptman). A guy who is a bit more free spirited and more fun to be around then her current boyfriend. If Daniel is the man that Amelia is most like. Then Leonard is the guy that she would like to be. For the first time in her life she is dating two men, but which one will she choose.

While watching Bread and Butter, I became nervous that the plot would go into familiar territory that I have complained about before. Especially when the character of Leonard was introduced. But director Liz Manashil wisely avoids all that and just teases us slightly with those tropes. She gives us a movie whose message is that it’s more important to love yourself first before you can love another person.

One of the biggest strengths about this movie are the characters. These are not just one note caricatures but real life people. Even the supporting ones are written in a way that makes them appear as if they could be the lead as well. In most movies they would show Amelia to be slightly unattractive, but it’s OK. Because, all she needs is a makeover and a confidence boost and she’ll be able to land a man in no time. Daniel  could have been seen as the character who sadly gets pushed over to the friend zone, but there is one moment where he comes at Amelia and gets her to confront herself and what she truly wants with her life. Even her best friend Deirdre(Lauren Lapkus) is upset at the amount of freedom that she possesses. While Amelia is jealous that Deirdre has someone in her life. Deirdre is mad that she has no desire to want to go anywhere and Amelia does.

Bread an Butter 3The movie has one weak spot and that it it’s hand drawn title sequence. I feel like every indie movie has used this for their credit sequence and I’m getting a little tired of it. But that is a small complaint on an other wise enjoyable film. The cast all do an amazing job, and I hope you get the chance to see it. If you are not a fan of romantic comedies. You will find it refreshing that characters don’t go through the kind of cliches the genre is usually associated with. If you do enjoy those kind of movies. You will still find it great that someone is bringing something new to the table.

Whiskey

You can learn more about Bread and Butter by visiting their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bread-and-Butter/368736449808080

 

The Minneapolis / St. Paul International Film Festival was brought to us by the fine folks at The MSP Film Society and I highly thank them for letting me attend. Visit their site here. http://mspfilm.org/

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About The Vern

I love movies and I enjoy writing about them too. They both go pretty much hand in hand with each other and it's fun to discover new classics. I co host the podcast The Film Pasture and As You Watch. While also contributing reviews and articles to other great sites when I can.
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7 Responses to 2015 MSP International Film Festival: Bread and Butter

  1. Andrew says:

    I too take issue with a lot of the tropes you mentioned with the romantic comedy genre, so this sounds like it could be a breath of fresh air. Thanks for highlighting it!

  2. ruth says:

    Hi Vern! I missed this one at MSPIFF. I might give it a rent as the premise sounds interesting. I saw a good Argentinian rom-com too at the film fest, called El Critico.

  3. Paul S says:

    It’s a brave move for a film critic to venture into enemy territory and make her own movie and I’ve read that director Liz Manashil claims 30% of is Bread and Butter is autobiographical, with the characters being amalgamations of herself and friends.
    That’s good news because it leaves 70% for her next film, after the hoped-for success of this one.

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