With resplendent beauty and simple storytelling, Our Friend caused a major stir within me, and I was still gripped long after the credits.
It follows the true story of a couple who unexpectedly find out that the matriarch has cancer, leaving her future and the future of their two girls in the balance. As the crutch that holds her family together, Nicole Teague keeps losing strength as the family tries to help how they can.
Enter Dane, her best friend and confidante, who quite literally moves in to help the family adjust, and provides all the support he can to Nicole and her ailing husband Matt. What begins as an unlikely friendship between the two men turns into a lifelong bond.
So much so that in real life, this article is based on journalist Matthew Teague’s award-winning article ‘The Friend’ about Dane’s selfless commitment to the family, and the way he, Matt and Nicole spent her final time.
It’s a story of friendship, camaraderie and love & support above all. The beautiful way Dane brings this family closer than ever is profound, and I dare you to watch and not feel anything.
Directed with wit and grace from Gabriela Cowperthwaite — who did documentary Blackfish — she knows that sometimes telling the strongest story means stepping back and letting events unfold naturally.
Any hint of melodrama that begins to creep in is held down by the trio of incredible central performances from Dakota Johnson, Casey Affleck and Jason Segel. The two male leads are a balanced, intricate duo.
But dare I say it, despite Affleck’s Oscar pedigree, it’s Segel’s impressive, understated performance that will make viewers all over feel like they all deserve a friend like Dane.