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A movie Review by Robert Long II ©2016

Starring Ben Solenberger, Stephen Tobolowsky, Clint Howard, Emily Davenport, Jaymes Camery and Nick Burr

Written by Jaymes Camery and Ben Solenberger

Directed by Jaymes Camery

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Story synopsis: A young man discovers love for the first time with a girl he’s been friends with since grade school but struggles to avoid first-time heartbreak in small-town Virginia.

So you think you know Smash or Trash Independent Filmmaking, eh? All indie horror and science fiction – right? Wrong. We also review documentaries, Westerns, comedies, as well as dramas. So sit right back and hear out my thoughts on GUYS AND GIRLS CAN’T BE FRIENDS.

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The story is that Ben (Ben Solenberger) is a young man working for his father Andy (Stephen Tobolowsky) whom owns a floral shop. They have a great relationship, and Ben delivers the floral arrangements for the shop. Ben is a lonely, dateless kid that gets lonelier as his delivers flowers daily to couples in love. That all changes when Ben makes a deliver to Julie (Emily Davenport), a past acquaintance from grade school. Sparks ignite between them.

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They get romantically involved, and the story moves along at a sweet pace. Not everything is all roses and there are mighty big bumps in the relationship. Ben goes to his father for advice. He also seeks advice from his friend/mini golf course owner Gus (Clint Howard). Everyone has good thoughts, experiences and knowledge to bestow, it’s not enough to save Ben and Julie’s relationship.

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This is not a spoiler, as the title pretty much tells you how the story will go, and the movie plays out very linearly. That does not make it a terrible film, however. It feels like this will not have a happy outcome, no matter how much the viewer wants these two kids to remain together. This is more of a story of the triumphs and perils of doomed love.

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This independent film was shot in the Virginia/Maryland area. The cinematography is beautifully framed and shot. Everything has that golden hour lighting that gives off a warm fuzzy feeling to the audience. The young actors equate themselves well. The real treat is seeing veteran character actors Stephen Tobolowsky and Clint Howard in very hefty supporting roles. They add plenty of heart-warming oomph to the proceedings.

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FINAL RATING: 7.5 out of 10 broken hearts. It has its light moments, romantic moments, and its heart-breaking thoughtful moments. Get together with your significant other, a glass of wine, and give this a watch. You can pick up the DVD HERE.

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