SECTION U.S. Dramatic Competition
RUN TIME 101 min
Dan Landsman is the overly enthusiastic head of his high school reunion committee and also the group's laughingstock. To impress his so-called friends, he vows to convince their most famous former classmate—Oliver Lawless, the star of a national Banana Boat TV commercial—to attend the reunion to increase attendance. Dan travels to Los Angeles and spins a web of lies, igniting an intoxicating excitement for the first time in his humdrum life. In exchange for Oliver's precarious friendship, Dan sacrifices his relationships with his wife, son, and boss, and loses himself in his obsession for approval and recognition.
In their bold directorial debut, Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul tell the story of a man desperate to fit in at nearly any cost. Jack Black's Dan Landsman is both lovable and pathetic in his quest to prove his self-worth to others. As played by James Marsden,Oliver's charm and good looks are alluring, yet his vanity and apathy are dangerously manipulative. These surprisingly relatable characters remind us that our desire for social acceptance goes way beyond adolescence and can plague us well into adulthood. —R.K.