“Best Fake Friends” is a forgettable dramedy about a newcomer to an upscale neighborhood who’s so eager to fit in with the local ladies’ “fun bunch” she turns into someone she’s not, to the detriment of her family.
Writers Sarah Hehman and Christi Sperry paint a credible snapshot of moneyed 40ish housewives with little to do but pamper themselves and indulge in booze, drugs and power shopping, but they barely plumb the surface of these self-centered women. If there’s a message to be had, it gets lost in the shuffle of parties, primping and mean-girl-style politics.
Would-be journalist Joy (Lauren Bowles) and dashing husband Mark (Max Ryan) move with their kids (Jessica Belkin, A.J. Lyerly) to Portland, Ore., for Mark’s important — if vague — new executive job.
Bored and lonely, Joy befriends Nikki (Victoria Smurfit), a sleek and spoiled beauty who, along with gal pals Tory (Suleka Mathew) and Rachel (Michelle Arthur), initiate Joy into the wicked ways of suburbia. Joy takes the bait, unaware that Nikki has an agenda that’s hardly in Joy’s favor.
Unfortunately, the climactic table-turning here feels more mechanical than cathartic and does little to elevate the film’s undistinguished narrative.
Director Paul Kampf gives the movie an appropriately slick sheen but can only do so much with the material at hand. Casting, it should be said, is startlingly nondiverse.
‘Best Fake Friends’
Running time: 1 hour, 42 minutes.
Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills