Ted (Justin Clark) is one of Jamie’s (Kavita Jariwala) many male friends. But where are her female friends? (Photo credit: Vile Henchmen Productions)

Written and Directed by: Jonathan Smith

Starring: Kavita Jariwala, Katie Muldowney, Justin Clark, Michael Dahlgren, Jonathan Smith, Brett Eidman, Wilson Conkwright, Jorge Lucas, Patrick Collins, Phoebe Mattana, Heather Cole, Jenyffer Zorrilla, Chloe Elizabeth Lewis, Healther Shishler, Lauren Scahffel, Alexis Ingram

Synopsis (via Vile Henchmen Productions): When Jaime, a self-described “guy’s girl,” and her boyfriend break up, all of her guy friends simultaneously profess their secret, undying love for her.

Accolades (via Vile Henchmen Productions):

An official selection at Cambria Film Festival

The winner of “Outstanding Acting Duo” for Kavita Jariwala and Katie Muldowney at Ridgefield Independent Film Festival

A nominee for “Breakthrough Female Performance” for Kavita Jariwala at Festival of Cinema NYC

The winner of “Best Feature Film” and a nominee for “Best Comedy,” “Best Director,” and “Best Actress in a Feature Film” at Bergen International Film Festival of NJ

What Monique thinks about Guy Friends:

Guy Friends is a unique film that has a meet-cute not for romantic partners, but for best friends. Jamie (Kavita Jariwala) believes herself to be a “guy’s girl”. She thinks that because she was raised by a single father, she identifies more with men. However, it comes as a shock to her that her guy friends actually see her as a potential romantic partner.

Kavita Jariwala is wearing a white sleeveless shirt. She looks shocked.
Jamie (Kavita Jariwala) is shocked when she realizes her guy friends are actually waiting to become to her next boyfriend. (Photo credit: Vile Henchmen Productions)

Sandy (Katie Muldowney), the girlfriend of her actual guy friend Ted (Justin Clark), alerts her to her friends’ true goals. Little does Jamie know that Sandy will change her life.

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The film is immediately engaging, using black and white and jazz music to create feelings of New York nostalgia. Interviews with friends are shown in full color, denoting that these moments are currently outside the main story. But these colorful moments also capture another truth–that best friends bring vibrancy to each other’s lives. These full-color moments become more meaningful once we see Jamie and Sandy get their own interview recounting their friendship.

Katie Muldowney and Kavita Jariwala are sitting on a park bench conversing as they hold takeout coffee cups.
Sandy (Kaite Muldowney) and Jamie (Kavita Jariwala) develop a friendship that makes each woman better. (Photo credit: Vile Henchmen Productions)

Guy Friends also approaches a very heavy topic in a lighthearted way. To me, the film is commenting on what the internet calls a “pick-me” woman. Jamie wouldn’t consider herself as a “pick-me,” but she has the foundation to become a full-blown “pick-me.” She aligns herself with men and thinks she sees life from a male viewpoint. She also views female friendship almost like a threat. She explains away her discomfort around women as a byproduct of her father and uncles raising her. But what’s the deeper reason?

Personally, I would have loved a deeper dive into why Jamie felt threatened by women before Sandy’s friendship. But what we know is that she didn’t learn to forge friendships with other women and the unknown is scary. Thankfully, she gets over herself and learns that her life is better when she actually engages with her feminine side.

Kavita Jariwala smiles.
Jamie (Kavita Jariwala) learns to not fear female friendships. (Photo credit: Vile Henchmen Productions)

Guy Friends also excels in showing how great friendships challenge each person in the relationship to reach their fullest potential. Throughout the film, Jamie learns from Sandy, gaining new perspectives. She also takes action in her life thanks to Sandy, forging her path towards becoming an architect. Vice versa, Jamie challenges Sandy to go for her life’s dream of teaching children. Both friends better each other, and there’s nothing more fulfilling than a partner-in-crime raising you to be your better self.

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Overall, Guy Friends is a funny, engaging, and heartwarming film that teaches the value of friendship. A great friend can bring out the best in you. Guy Friends shows how beneficial it can be to be challenged and nurtured by a friend who’s also a soulmate.

Guy Friends is currently available to watch on the platforms:

Apple TV

YouTube Movies

Google Play

xBox/Microsoft

Hoopla

Spectrum

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