Anna (Zoe Lister-Jones) and Ben (Adam Pally) have felt the spark go out of their marriage in the new movie Band Aid, also written and directed by Lister-Jones. They aren’t intimate with each other, find they don’t enjoy spending time with the other person and always seem to be on the verge of a fight. When they’re not fighting they’re just kind of tolerating each other and wind up making various passive-aggressive digs at their partner. They still love each other, but they can’t quite remember why.
One day Anna decides the therapy they need is to start a band. They’ll channel their aggression and fights into songs instead of letting it all creep out into their daily lives. With the help of Dave (Fred Armisen), a neighbor who plays drums, the band begins to come together and Anna and Ben find they’re enjoying each other’s company more than they have in a long while. It’s not all sunshine and roses, though, as the arrangement surfaces other problems lingering beneath the surface.
The first and only poster looks – deliberately I’m guessing – like it could be a Talking Heads album cover. Disjointed blocks of color shade a photo of the three main characters, two of them holding instruments that hint that they’re part of a band. The movie’s attitude and humor are conveyed through the “Misery loves accompaniment” copy toward the bottom of the one-sheet.
We get insights into the relationship between Anna and Ben as the first trailer opens. Basically they have issues they’re trying to work on and aren’t feeling the passion, so Anna throws out the idea of starting a band as a way to channel their aggression. A neighbor joins them to play drums in the band and we see they are just sharing their fights on stage. The problems they face aren’t going to go away quickly, though, but they keep things going.
It looks funny and charming and the chemistry between Jones and Pally is great as they lob insights and passive aggressive commentary, along with some love, at each other. The trailer hints at but doesn’t promise a happy ending of sorts, though how accurate that turns out to be remains to be seen.
Online and Social
There’s not much to the official website IFC gave the movie. It’s just a single page that has a prompt to watch the trailer, a list of the cast and crew, a brief synopsis of the story and the poster to view and download. The studio did also give it some support on its own Twitter and Facebook pages.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Nothing here that I’m aware of.
Media and Publicity
The first bit of publicity came when it was announced the movie would have its official premiere at Sundance 2017. Some news kept coming out about how Lister-Jones hired an all-female crew to work on the movie, which kept positive sentiment going. A clip was released just before its Sundance debut and Lister-Jones spoke about making the movie and what it meant to have it play at the festival. IFC eventually picked the film up for distribution.
Jones talked about how she made the decision to finally direct a feature, what it was she was trying to convey with the story and how she worked to assemble and all-female production crew for the film. Lister-Jones also got a really nice profile that talked about her film history, her sitcom experience and her life trying to balance a love of music and a love of acting and writing.
There have been countless movies not just in the last few years but going back further than that chronicling the problems white people have and the problems white married people have in particular. It’s always about emotions and dealing with them and never feeling quite fulfilled by life. So on that count there’s not much original going on with this campaign, which shows it’s largely another exercise in showing otherwise comfortable people who expect every moment to be magical, otherwise they rage against the ennui.
The main selling point, then, is Lister-Jones. The campaign promises a unique sense of humor and story and that’s all from her. She’s the central focus of the campaign, from the trailers through the press and publicity, and it’s great to see a woman completely taking the reins like this. If you’re on board with that then you’ll be on board with the movie as a whole. The story looks sweet and, for all its issues, is a lot more original than most of what’s circulating around the indie film circuit these days.