'Band Aid' trembles before troubles
They argue. They bicker. They fight and bare their claws. They are a young married couple with issues. Anna's a writer who feels like a failure because lesser writers she knows have solid careers. Ben feels maligned by life, and he leaves dirty, filthy, crusty dishes overflowing in their sink.
Not until midway through the short film is the true, underlying reason for their anger and unhappiness revealed -- kind of the way it is with new friends, who do not expose their soft underbellies until after the hors d'oeuvres are served at dinner. And then the whole story makes more sense -- not that you need to know why their marriage is dysfunctional to get their angst.
Anna gets stoned to go to a baby shower, but then she broaches Ben with an idea: these former bandmates should turn their fights into songs. They clean out the garage for this garage band, invite the weird neighbor to beat the drums, and they're off, singing a love song for the ages about sexual congress in the key of F. And, yes, that is Ben's slice of pizza held by his harmonica holder attached to his guitar.
It's that kind of comedy. It's also part tragedy. Director Zoe Lister-Jones is also writer Zoe Lister-Jones and star Zoe Lister-Jones. She performs well as Anna, accompanied by her good work in Life in Pieces on television. As a writer, she certainly understands this couple's pain, but she also understands the marital therapy they need. She puts those direct and comforting words into the mouth of Ben's mother, played very well by Susie Essman.
Adam Pally, of Iron Man 3 and Happy Endings, well embodies Ben. The supporting cast includes Fred Armisen in a tired shtick, Ravi Patel, and Retta. Colin Hanks functions well as the Uber Douche.
Band Aid works well as an indie film, short and sharp with redeeming attributes.