Starring Hannah Marks, Liano Liberato, Dylan Sprouse
Directed by Benjmin Kasulke
Rating: * ½ (one and a half stars)
Barring an Eighth Grade American teen comedies are like instant noodles.Eat, digest forget move on… Banana Split another one of those big-screen Coronova casualties to move immediately to DVD, is a popcorn film without any pop in its corniness. Teeming with twinkle-eyed teens with unnaturally large libidos and even more unnaturally white teeth, so taken up their own pathetically constrained preoccupations that I was left wondering how they are coping now with the lockdown crisis.
It’s one thing to worry about straying boyfriends and giggly girl bondings in normal times. But to even consider such a life during times of a pandemic is a ludicrous thought. The main characters are two beautiful young female adults, almost teenagers Clara (Liano Liberato) and April (Hannah Marks) who are into the same vermin-like dude.
But they soon discover a mutual friendship that blissfully precludes the chap they thought they loved. It’s a likable premise for a lightweight rom-com. And the two girls portray non-homosexual female kinship with endearing cogency. I especially like Liano Liberato who has an interesting personality. Given better material she could be far more charming. Here she is constrained by a plot and dialogues that read like snapchat print-outs.
The interesting part is a dinner sequence where Clara introduces April to her family. The banter here is more bouncy than frisky, though Clara’s precocious younger sister is a carbon copy of the character into All The Boys PS I Still Love You, a film that typified the asininity of teen flicks about imbecilic romantic conflicts.
Watching Banana Split I was reminded of a 1979 Basu Chatterjee rom-com Baaton Baaton Mein where a heartachingly beautiful Tina Munim tells her uncle how tough life is for her.
“I know what you mean. In the evening you’ve to go to a party. You can’t decide whether to wear a black or red dress. Really tough,” uncle deadpanned.
Stripped away from the irony of a young generation trapped in its own trivialities, Banana Split takes itself too seriously to qualify as satire. It will entertain you only if you think chucking an unreliable boyfriend to have a meaningful relationship with his ex-girlfriend is a fun idea.