Wednesday, May 07, 2014

"Friended to Death": Personally, I don't need to prove myself with numbers on Facebook

I usually try to see all films about social media, including the comedies, for the free speech issues.  “Please” you will say, about this one, "Friended to Death".  The premise is, well, a place I wouldn’t normally go.  Ryan Hansen plays Michael Harris, a “meter maid” in Los Angeles, and quite aggressive in his job.  His life goes downhill when he’s fired for posting a “client’s” license photo on Facebook – a good point about “online reputation.”  Pretty soon he comes up with the scam of faking his own death to see how many of his 479 Facebook friends show up at his funeral. 
Along the way, film director Sarah Smick appears as Sylvie, a broad blackmailing him in real life.
I suppose the point is pretty transparent.  In life, real friends matter.  Likeonomics and bean counts don’t.  You don’t need to prove your self worth by your “results” in social media.
The film is produced by Green Step, and I saw it today at the West End Cinema in Washington.  But I don’t see a formal distributor.  It seemed like a private showing, just for me.  (That, oddly happened a few years back at the AMC Courthouse with “Kids in America”, with Gregory Smith, itself a really funny and “meaningful” film, that makes similar points [while also dealing with free speech in public schools] much more successfully.)

And, yes, effective comedy is very hard to write.  It’s not my own forte.   

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