In All My Friends Hate Me, Pete is cautiously excited about reuniting with his college crew for a birthday weekend. But, one by one, his friends slowly turn against him. Is he being punished, is he paranoid, or is he part of some sick joke?
All My Friends Hate Me Review
Hello, fellow social anxiety-sufferers. This one’s for us.
All My Friends Hate Me takes an honest, unflinching look at social anxiety, presenting moments cringe-worthy, darkly comedic, and thrilling in spades. Our story picks up with Pete (Tom Stourton) as he plans to meet up with some old college friends to celebrate his birthday. But it’s been a while since Pete’s seen them, and his life now is pretty different than it was then.
From the outset, Pete’s struggle is immensely relatable. What’s great about All My Friends Hate Me is the way anyone watching can instantly tap into Pete’s feelings; we’ve all been anxious before. Meeting up with people you haven’t seen in a while brings a lot of inherent unknowns (aka anxiety fuel). What if they’ve changed? What if you’ve changed? What if you suddenly realize you were never really friends at all? What if this is some kind of elaborate joke to make you think they like you?
That is to say, spiraling is pretty easy.
Even if you’re not the kind of person whose anxieties escalate to such an extreme (can’t relate), you’ve probably felt that twinge of Will things be the same? when seeing someone you haven’t in a while.
Since anxiety is inherently a very internal and irrational feeling, you might think it would be a struggle for it to come across well on screen. But All My Friends Hate Me does such a great job of letting us see the film from Pete’s point of view. Yes, he exhibits clear paranoia, stress, and fear that his friends secretly hate him. But at the same time, as you watch events play out, you wonder if he might be right.
As Pete struggles to enjoy a celebratory weekend, he’s plagued by the kinds of self-doubt we’ve all felt. Do I fit in? Do people like me? Why would that person say that? What did they really mean? I’m midway through telling a story, but is it even that funny? Is anyone even listening? Should I just stop? (Pete is me at every party ever.)
And as the audience, you’re left with similar questions. Are these people really plotting against Pete? Are we, the audience, reading too much into their actions? Are they just shitty friends? Or is something more sinister really happening right now?
The entire experience is compounded by the presence of a newcomer, Harry (Dustin Demri-Burns), who’s instantly embraced by Pete’s friends. But even that’s weird, because Harry kind of sucks, right? And he’s definitely acting suspicious. Right?
Every second of this movie feels like something I’ve personally experienced, or my anxious brain has let me believe I could experience. The second-hand anxiety, embarrassment, and paranoia in All My Friends Hate Me will leave you squirming in your seat, but in the best way. The film offers up an incredibly true-to-life balance of anxiety in its comedic awkwardness and its fearful thrills. I felt incredibly invested in Pete’s story and in going through the experience to unravel the mystery of his friends’ true motives.
Step by painful step, you’ll find out if All My Friends Hate Me.
All My Friends Hate Me premieres in theaters March 11. It will later arrive on digital VOD March 25.