2020 made it all too clear that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic maintaining interpersonal relationships was going to take work. Of course, healthy relationships are what we strive for, but getting there can mean moving mountains for the ones we love. In "The Climb," two best friends work through their problems that have broken the bond they share, which understandable friends face problems too, but when your best friend admits to sleeping with your bride to be, it's a problem that calls for more than conversation or two. It's probably the biggest bomb to drop on the most unsuspecting person. Ever. And it was awesome.
The subjects of this short to feature film, like previously reviewed horror "Come Play," are a couple of guys who have a close connection in real life too. It is written, produced by and starring Kyle Marvin and Michael Angelo Covino. It's a comedy-drama with gorgeous cinematography and a story told through chapters making it easy to follow.
We first meet friends Kyle and Mike, Marvin and Covino respectively, when they are cycling together and it's a moment we can laugh at as the two share a dry very adult conversation about getting in shape before a wedding, making cycling their 'thing,' until just like that it's cut short by Mike telling Kyle that he's slept with Kyle's bride to be, Ava. Like someone dropping your birthday cake, it hurts to watch. Across several chapters, we take a look at the different events that have shaped both men's lives. From the jump we are aware these two are the ones who tell this fictional story about friendship, and this single act couldn't be what ends their friendship, right? Well, the movie packs plenty more to be surprised by in terms of what these two guys will push through in the name of that friendship.
Seeing the first title card right at the film's opening excited me for the movie. I knew it was going to be broken up into short sweet chunks, and each was going to get better than the first, my excitement growing at each moment like watching "The Bad Times at the El Royale" or "Moonlight" for the first (and every) time. In these chapters, viewers are only visiting a single location at a time, and in doing so, they are witnessing the story unfold almost entirely in single takes. This is done so impressively that I didn't catch it at first, but it's no question directors Marvin and Covino achieved something great by using this filming style from start to finish.
When it comes down to it, Kyle and Mike have a questionable, sometimes toxic relationship that becomes a struggle not only for Kyle to suffer through, as Mike is more of the perpetrator here, but also for audiences to watch. We can't help Kyle in this case, and at times it's like he can't help himself, which is painful but relatable like something you see in your friends or family when they don't realize change is needed.
Nevertheless, the film was successful in sharing the bond some pairs have and how even the largest of life's problems can be overcome when we have good friends at our sides or behind our backs. Finding those friends and keeping them means talking, nurturing your relationship a conversation at a time, disagreeing, hurting, all of it will happen, and it's hard but it's up to us to decide which problems are worth pushing past and working through, and of course which ones aren't. It was a great reminder to think about the company you keep and why.
"The Climb" is available on November 13.
THE CLIMB | Official Trailer HD (2020) www.youtube.com