About Alex is the writing and directorial debut of Jesse Zwick. Often compared to the Big Chill from 1984, it deals with the story of a group of friends, who get together for a long weekend after one of their own attempted to commit suicide. Now that they are all back together, old feelings and resentments start to surface again.
Let’s start by saying that the casting is absolutely amazing! The movie features Aubrey Plaza, Nate Parker, Jason Ritter, Maggie Grace, Max Greenfield, Max Minghella and Jane Levy. I found myself caring for all of the characters, which is often difficult with such a great ensemble. I will admit that I imagined a different outcome for some of the storylines, but thinking back now – it was perfect they way it ended.
The amount of situational awkwardness leads to a lot of hilarious scenes, while the topic of suicide isn’t taken lightly. I am just really glad that the movie didn’t turn into one of those “everything’s all doom and gloom”-kind-of-movies, but took a way lighter turn on the subject. I love movies about human emotions, and it is so easy to relate to the feeling of being misunderstood, feeling anxious and guilty and above all wanting to be loved and forgiven. We all get lost sometimes, and in my opinion, it is perfectly normal to need some time to figure things out, when they are not going the way they were supposed to.
My only criticism is that they maybe could’ve explored the consequences of (attempted) suicide a little more, rather than focusing on the individual drama. I understand that they needed to establish all characters equally and therefore maybe diminished Alex’ storyline a little, but to me it just seemed a bit overlooked at times. Nonetheless, I think it was a great debut for Jesse Zwick!
While the movie definitely had it’s flaws, I think it is a beautiful film and if you ever are in search for a good Independent movie, I would definitely recommend it. If you’ve watched it, let’s discuss in the comments!