Performances “on the money” says LA TIMES’ Kevin Thomas

Below is Kevin Thomas’ LA Times complete capsule review of the film

——
YOUNG FRIENDS RISE TO CHALLENGES

Thirty is “The New Twenty” in Chris Mason Johnson’s engaging film that centers on a group of college friends who remain close as they make their way in Manhattan.

Nicole Bilderback’s Julie and Ryan Locke’s Andrew have just announced their engagement. Julie, the most successful of the group, presents a challenge to the ambitious and aggressive Andrew, who gets the crass, burly Louie (Terry Serpico) to back him in an undefined business venture.

Key in the couple’s circle are Tony (Andrew Wei Lin), Julie’s gay brother; Colin Fickes’ Ben, a hefty gay man having trouble finding a lover and a career, and Thomas Sadoski’s very bright Felix, who copes with what he calls “a touch of existential malaise courtesy of late capitalism” with escalating substance abuse.

The ensemble performances are on the money, and the members of this multiethnic, sexually diverse group are credibly comfortable with each other. Of course, homophobia still can surface, and Johnson deftly suggests that as these young people attempt to cope with the stresses of modern life they may outgrow the close ties of their college years.

Johnson provides them with plenty of challenges and reasons to question their values, priorities and goals.

— Kevin Thomas “The New Twenty.” MPAA rating: Unrated. Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes. Laemmle’s Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-3500.

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