Movie Review: ‘Social Animals’

by | May 30, 2018 | Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | 0 comments

Review by James Lindorf

Social Animals is the first outing for director Theresa Bennett, who also wrote the film. Bennett has worked in many different capacities in the film industry since the start of her career in 2007, from being a part of the crew to casting to producing and now directing. Social Animals stars Noël Wells (SNL, Mr. Roosevelt) as Zoe, and Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) as Paul, along with a terrific supporting cast, including Aya Cash, Carly Chaikin, Fortune Feimster and Samira Wiley. Social Animals will be available in theaters, ON Demand and digitally June 1st.

Zoe’s life has stalled. Things aren’t going quite the way she planned after opening her small business. She’s facing eviction, her company is going under, and the only good things in her life are her best friend, Claire, a series of men willing to have a one night stand, and a reliable drug dealer. When it seems her world is completely unraveling, she develops a connection with Paul, a fellow loveable loser. The only problem is Paul is married. If Zoe makes the right move, she can save her business, keep her home and maybe find love for the first time.

Social Animals takes a unique and honest look at relationships. Whether you’re single and want to stay that way, single but want to get married, or married in a good or bad marriage, there are characters here for you to associate with. The characters may be a little quirkier than the average person, but they are well within reason and feel like real people and not caricatures. The connection between Zoe and Paul is instant and palpable, as they discuss the trials of owning a business, and the difficulties associated with love. At its core, this is a simple story of damaged girl meets broken boy and is reliant on the performances of its leads. Noël Wells gives a strong performance throughout the film. I was happy for Zoe, mad at her, and hopeful for her because of Wells. Radnor isn’t a standout, but he is likable as always. It feels like an alternate reality for Ted where things didn’t go well with the Mother, and he never met Robin.

I think this film would be an excellent starter for someone who believes they won’t like independent films. The movie is obviously low budget. It has that typical indie sheen to it, but it lacks the pretension that people tend to associate with indie films. It approaches several serious topics in a humorous way that will draw people in and lead them to wonder about dreams, love, commitment, and the retail apocalypse. Check out Social Animals on June 1st. You’ll laugh, and if it hits close to home you might cry, but you’ll surely have a good time.

In Theaters, On Demand & Digital June 1st