New movies by director Doron Max Hagay are always cause for celebration here at NoBudge. Today we’re happy to present a “Doron Double Feature” — also featured “Improv is Love” — to highlight an artist we consider an unsung hero of American indie film. Specializing in ludicrous plots, absurdly quick character shifts, and hysterically awkward dialogue, his films are indescribably strange but always rooted in real human insecurities and vulnerabilities.
In “She Keeps Me Young”, the friendship between two thirty-somethings, Michelle and Kelly, is challenged by an unlikely source. One day at the park, a high school photographer approaches the two eating lunch. Her name is Bridget and she’s doing a photo project about “strong female forms”. When she gravitates towards Michelle, it leaves Kelly feeling alone and jealous. Clinging onto the attention from the young girl, Michelle starts hanging out with her socially. As the relationship grows — they go out dancing; sing songs in a Taco Bell parking lot — Kelly feels the need to intervene. She lies her way into Bridget’s mom home and alerts her of the mismatched relationship. But will this work to derail their friendship, and save her old bond?
Co-writers and stars Blair Beeken and Katy Fullan are a beautiful match with Hagay — this is their second collaboration after 2016’s “Rodney”. Characterized by genius-level unnaturalness and uproarious dialogue (“must be really nice having a niece you can party with. My niece is just a baby”) “She Keeps Me Young” is yet another fascinating entry into Hagay’s impressively odd body of work. (15 minutes).