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:: The Drama Club

A group of friends reunite due to a pact they made as teenagers. Twenty years have now passed and this group of friends (six friends and their spouses) gather because they were together in a drama club. They meet to spend a weekend together, Aaron (Dane Bowman) hosts his old pals, now in their late 30s with clear arrested development issues, at the community playhouse he took over from their late theatre teacher.

Unfortunately after a night of drinking, new problems and old wounds come to light. It turns into a night of fights, bonding and reflection, but it ultimately leaves them in a better place than before they got there. It is often the case in these often-visited rites-of-passage films. Once reunited, we find that life has dealt them all some melodramatic blows.

Aaron (Dane Bowman) is grieving over the death of his gay lover, who turns out to have been the kids’ drama coach. Luke (Chris Ciccarelli) grew up and became an evil banker who, arrested on some kind of junk bondsmanship, is on the verge of a hefty prison term. Hannah (Melanie Lewis), after sleeping around as a kid, has become a born again Christian and claims she’s now a virgin. And Elle (Liza Seneca), happily married to Nathan (Barry Flanagan), sees a chance to rekindle a brief tryst with Aaron. Cory (Jon Thomas) enjoys his time with his friends, but he has to deal with his marital problems in front of everyone and more than once. Cory’s wife, Kat (Chelsea Brandt), is a loose cannon of emotions who makes this reunion even more dramatic.

For the most part, The Drama Club is a fairly typical ensemble piece with old grudges that will either be resolved or refuelled while tensions in current relationships will rise to the surface. At times lightly comical and other times dramatic in tone, The Drama Club benefits greatly from a solid ensemble cast and worthy production values, together with cool, laidback music.

The film is well-written and well shot. It is very dramatic and has very adult scenes and situations. It has funny and freeing moments, but the drama is as if everyone waited to reunite to have their midlife crises. That can make such a film pretty depressing in watching how people's lives slide to what they used to enjoy. However, the sense of camaraderie between old friends and the heartache that comes not fulfilling one's expectations shows a good balance in the way this film has been produced. The strong scenes and heartwarming passages serve their purpose well and make the film most enjoyable.

The Drama Club is available on Video on Demand.