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NEW YORK — A behind-the-scenes relationship film with refreshingly little interest in mythologizing or caricaturing the film biz its protagonists inhabit, Daniel Schechter‘s Supporting Characters earns a steady stream of laughs while taking its questions about grown-up romance seriously. It should be well-liked at art houses, earning an additional boost via star Alex Karpovsky, whose work with Lena Dunham (she has a cameo here) will raise the picture’s profile with Girls fans.
Karpovsky plays Nick, a freelance movie editor who, with partner Daryl (Tarik Lowe, who co-wrote the film with Schechter), is trying to fix a troubled indie comedy whose director (Kevin Corrigan) has gone AWOL. Corrigan, predictably and enjoyably, delivers the color in this scenario — grumbling about perceived threats to his integrity but generally being a funny flake — while Nick and Daryl alternate between funny realistic workplace banter and love-life debriefs.
Nick has a comfy relationship with fiancée Amy (Sophia Takal) while Daryl navigates choppy waters with Liana (Melonie Diaz). But when the lead actress on their film (Arielle Kebbel‘s Jamie) starts flirting with Nick during an ADR session, he begins trying to rationalize a possible fling with a movie star. Soon enough, Corrigan’s loose-screw auteur isn’t the only deluded male in the picture.
If the film’s tech values lean toward those of a modest TV production, the script’s fine-tuned comic beats and the easy chemistry of the ensemble more than compensate. Karpovsky, offering a drastic contrast with his other Tribeca entrant (Rubberneck, which he also directed), is showcased, but costars, especially Takal, make their mark with much less screen time.
Venue: Tribeca Film Festival, Viewpoints
Production Company: Renart Films
Cast: Alex Karpovsky, Tarik Lowe, Arielle Kebbel, Kevin Corrigan, Sophia Takal, Melonie Diaz, Sebastian Sozzi, Mike Landry, Lena Dunham
Director-Editor: Daniel Schechter
Screenwriters: Tarik Lowe, Daniel Schechter
Producers: Tim Duff, Adam der Aris
Executive producers: Alex A. Ginzburg, Dale Carnegie
Director of photography: Richard P. Ulivella
Production designer: Allison R. Marx
Music: Jordan Galland
Costume designer: Elizabeth Vastola
Sales: Deborah McIntosh, WME Entertainment
No rating, 88 minutes
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