Plot: Anna (Zoe Lister-Jones) and her husband Ben (Adam Pally) are in a strange place in their marriage, as they clearly love each other, but spend all of their time fighting and things are at a breaking point. A landmark moment in their relationship was when Anna had a miscarriage, a tragic event that she still struggles to cope with and neither seems to want to discuss the loss. The couple argues over even small matters, like dirty dishes and physical affection has all but ceased. Anna is also dissatisfied with how their lives have turned out, as she wanted more and Ben’s lack of ambition creates even more strife in the marriage. But one argument leads to a breakthrough, as the couple decides to sing their fights, since the actual arguments have solved nothing. This leads to an ease in the tension and an improvement in the dynamics between the two, so the natural next step is of course, to start a band. So with the help of eccentric neighbor Dave (Fred Armisen), the couple begins to write songs and prepare for live performances. But will the music bring them a lasting peace and enhance their relationship, or is this just a quick fix that will eventually break down?
Entertainment Value: Band Aid is a movie that deals with some depressing subject matter and does so in a grounded, realistic fashion, but also injects enough humor to keep things from sinking into the abyss. The movie’s fate hinges on the performances of Zoe Lister-Jones and Adam Pally, as the entire movie centers on them and their chemistry was crucial to the experience. The two pull it off quite well, coming off like a real couple that has buried some serious issues, while battling it out over minor ones, grinding the relationship into the ground. Lister-Jones is perhaps best known for her sitcom work, but she proves once again she deserves better, as she is dynamic and commands the screen here. She also wrote, directed, and produced Band Aid, which makes her powerful performance even more impressive. She has a number of great turns in indie cinema, but I found this to be her finest work and I hope it leads to bigger opportunities. Pally is good as well and the two play off each other so well, especially when the arguments kick in. Fred Armisen adds crucial relief as Dave, a sex addict who loves music, but can’t deal with the couple’s drama. Band Aid has plenty of quirk, but never loses that raw, believable texture and that is not a simple task to achieve. This turns out to be a well crafted, excellently performed movie that anyone who likes offbeat comedies should check out.
A few awkward sex scenes are present, which include some bare man ass and one extended showcase of Lister-Jones’ breasts. The visual on the latter is spectacular, of course. No blood. The tone here doesn’t lend itself to any type of violence, let alone graphic bloodshed. The dialogue is sharp and well written, with plenty of mean spirited barbs and drama laced exchanges. The relationship is ripe with dysfunction and of course, I love that and it leads to some great verbal battles. Even small fights between the two have memorable moments, as they’re able to convey that “I don’t know why we are arguing, but I can’t stop now” mindset to perfection. Armisen also has some terrific lines, so the writing in Band Aid is impressive. In terms of craziness, I’d say this is more quirk than outright craziness, but it still has odd moments. I love awkward exchanges and this movie has several of them, including cringe level sex scenes and arguments that make both sides look ridiculous. So not your typical dull, lifeless comedy, but as it takes a grounded approach, it isn’t that wild, either. But the sheer dysfunction alone earns a couple of points.
Overall Insanity: 2/10