University is an exciting time. A time to experiment. A time to try new things and meet new people. One where the emphasis is often on ‘having a laugh’ and being in the moment. Making friends is relatively easy but due to the fleeting nature of campus life they often don’t ‘stick’. Especially if you don’t remain in the city where you studied. After graduating, everyone moves on with their own lives, but some yearn for that hedonistic past. Reunions can be tricky as All My Friends Hate Me illustrates.
To celebrate Pete’s (Tom Stourton) birthday, the old crew from university are throwing him a party he’ll never forget. Since graduating, he’s been working abroad with refugees but is now ready to settle down with his girlfriend Sonia (Charly Clive). He arrives at George’s (Joshua McGuire) stately home, ready for a wild weekend. Only to find that they’ve brought a local, Harry (Dustin Demri-Burns), back from the pub who seems intent on setting them against him.
All My Friends Hate Me plays on the natural paranoia we all feel seeing friends for the first time in a long while. It’s a situation ripe for comedy and director Andrew Gaynord exploits it pretty well. Harry is the insurgent. Used as a wedge to sow discontent in Pete’s mind. Letting his imagination do the rest. While the humour doesn’t always hit the mark, the way All My Friends Hate Me builds up suspense is impressive. It makes for an uncomfortable ride at times, but that’s the point.
All My Friends Hate Me screens at London Film Festival.