Mutual Appreciation

Mutual Appreciation

A film by Andrew Bujalski | 2006 | 108 minutes

An instant critic’s darling upon its release in 2006, Mutual Appreciation is at once an utterly timeless and distinctly mid-aughts portrait of the ebb and flow of twenty-something life in New York City. Richly observed and deeply humanist, the film follows Alan (Justin Rice), an aspiring musician, who crash-lands in town following the breakup of his band in Boston, immediately taking up with his old friends Ellie (Rachel Clift) and Lawrence (writer-director Andrew Bujalski) while negotiating the affections of a local radio DJ (Seung-Min Lee). In the tradition of Éric Rohmer, John Cassavetes and Jacques Rivette, Bujalski crafts a deft yet unassuming generational statement that finds its inspiration less in plot than in sharply drawn relationships and captivating conversations. Lovingly lensed in intimate 16mm black and white film, Mutual Appreciation is a generous and witty ode to the friendships that hallmark our awkward and enthralling post-collegiate years. Mutual Appreciation, along with 2002’s equally lauded Funny Ha Ha, signaled the triumphant arrival of indie auteur Bujalski, who has gone on to write and direct a suite of critically acclaimed features including Beeswax (2009), Computer Chess (2013), Results (2015) and 2018’s Support the Girls.

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“This wonderful independent film Mutual Appreciation… may make your heart swell.”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“The fresh voice of a generation.”
– Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

“If John Cassavetes had directed a script by Eric Rohmer, the result might have looked and sounded like Mutual Appreciation.”
– Joe Leydo, Variety