The Climb (2019)

The Climb
Director: Michael Angelo Covino
Writer: Michael Angelo Covino, Kyle Marvin
Cast: Michael Angelo Covino, Kyle Marvin, Gayle Rankin, Judith Godrèche, Talia Balsam, George Wendt, Daniella Covino, Eden Malyn
Seen on: 8.9.2020

Plot:
Kyle (Kyle Marvin) is just about to get married. To get away from the wedding planning, he goes on a cycling tour with his best friend and best man Mike (Michael Angelo Covino). As they are cycling, Mike confesses to Kyle that he has been sleeping with Kyle’s fiancée Ava (Judith Godrèche). This causes a rift between them. But having been friends for such a long time means that they can’t get away from each other all that easily.

The Climb is a strange little film with a very nice sense of humor that traces a friendship in an unusual way. I liked it, though I was hoping for a little better treatment of the female characters.

Kyle (Kyle Marvin) and Mike (Michael Angelo Covino) cycling up a mountain, an old red car just behind them.

The Climb had me laughing more than once. There’s a really nice sense of humor about it, one with a bit of an offsided beat, that I really enjoyed. It’s often absurd, but not unrealistic. I can imagine that it wouldn’t work for everyone, but it did work for me. (The comments about Kyle’s weight should not have been there, though.)

Covino and Marvin are, I assume, best friends in real life as well. There is certainly a depth to Mike and Kyle’s relationship that would probably be hard to get at otherwise. And I liked that the friendship between them, while certainly not free from gender stereotypes, are not rooted in toxic masculinity as a lot of male friendships in films are.

Mike (Michael Angelo Covino) talking to Ava (Judith Godrèche).

I was a little frustrated that so much of the film and their relationship revolved around women in the most stereotypical way. With Ava, both are in love with the same woman. With Marissa (Gayle Rankin), Mike is convinced that Kyle has the wrong woman. And since Marissa is every stereotype of the pushy girlfriend/partner, of course he is ultimately proven right. It would have been nice if there had been a more well-rounded female character (especially since Eden Malyn was right there in small supporting role to steal every moment she was in).

But other than that, I really enjoyed The Climb with its slightly unusual, but always honest narrative of two guys who know each other too well to not be friends.

Kyle (Kyle Marvin) being "abducted" for his bachelor party.

Summarizing: Worth seeing.

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