Part screwball/cringe comedy, part deep-seated satire of white Australia as experienced by the young and affluent, Friends and Strangers follows twenty-somethings Ray and Alice as they navigate a series of increasingly awkward and comedic situations, from limp romantic encounters to bungled opportunities for professional growth. This ever-intriguing debut feature by James Vaughan destabilizes narrative expectations from the outset, as major characters drop out of the film, just because. A surface-level casualness belies Vaughan’s deft handling of youthful ambivalence and historical amnesia.
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