Mutual Appreciation Image
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

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  • Summary: Alan (Rice), a musician whose band has just broken up, shows up in New York to pursue his burgeoning rock and roll career. He starts by searching for a drummer for a show he’s already lined up, and otherwise goes about the mechanics of self-promotion. He finds a champion in Sara (Lee), a radio DJ who sets her sights on a submissive but uninterested Alan -- and finds him a drummer. In his down time, Alan drinks and strategizes with his old friend Lawrence (Bujalski), a grad student, and Lawrence’s girlfriend Ellie (Clift), a journalist. Alan endeavors to keep his shoulder to the wheel, while Ellie finds herself compelled by him. The attraction is mutual, but both parties are reluctant to take a next step. (Goodbye Cruel Releasing) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    100
    Bujalski's writing is so good, and every shot and edit seems exactly right. Hopefully, there will always be a place for a film like this on a theater screen, no matter the whims of the marketplace.
  2. Andrew Bujalski's considerable gifts begin with his deep appreciation of the miserable, hilarious awkwardness of real life.
  3. 91
    The halting dialogue, full of awkward pauses and restarts, seems improvised in the way that only carefully scripted material can.
  4. 80
    The three leads deliver funny, convincing performances in a film that wears both youthful callowness and intellectual sophistication lightly. Mutual Appreciation is the kind of movie whose dialogue mostly hews to the rhythms of "like, you know, whatever" but then occasionally throws in a word such as "puissance." And, like, it totally works.
  5. Particularly adept at chronicling the vague existential aimlessness of a segment of postcollege young adults, Bujalski manages to make his subjects seem simultaneously articulate and socially dunderheaded.
  6. 80
    As before, Bujalski's preference for nonprofessional actors, his ear for the rhythms of conversation among bright young 20-somethings and his adept use of a roving, hand-held camera (this time shooting in fuzzy black and white) lend the film an invigorating energy.
  7. The film's mood and style are pitched somewhere between '60s American indie and French New Wave and, as you watch these people, they seem painfully, amusingly on-target. They may irritate you a little, but that's the right response.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 5 out of 12