When life gets a little too hard, art becomes a therapy
In Band Aid (2017), a comedy-drama about the unresolved conflicts couples often face, Anna (Zoe-Lister Jones) and Ben (Adam Pelly) find in music a way to deal with their excess of emotions by turning their fights into songs. The couple put their guitars together, listed their most intense fights, and began writing lyrics. They soon realize they need a drummer, so they team up with their one-of-a-kind neighbor, Dave (Fred Armisen), to start a band named “The Dirty Dishes.”
Ben is a frustrated freelance designer working from home. Anna is an Uber driver with a failed book deal. Together they watch their friends’ lives move on as their very own seem stuck in time, especially after Anna’s miscarriage, which left them far more than just grief. The band’s name is a reference to one of their main contentions: a sink full of dirty dishes. Ben seems apathetic to the mess in the sink, while it drives Anna crazy. The dirty dishes are not only a metaphor for the couple’s issues, but are also the way they both approach and deal with their problems. While Ben seems to build up his emotions, Anna’s are very clear. Singing about these “dirty dishes” allows the couple to externalize their emotions, tuning them into the same frequency; a frequency not often reached in their music-less everyday routine.
Directed, written, produced, and starred by Zoe Lister-Jones, Band Aid is not only a light-hearted dramedy on marriage’s intrinsic obstacles, but also a strong statement on women’s representation in cinema, considering the movie was made by an all-female crew. “I had been very aware — both being in front of the camera and behind it — of the under-representation of women on television and film crews, so I wanted to create opportunities for women, especially in departments where they’re very rarely given them,” said Lister-Jones during an interview with CBS News.
Band Aid is Lister-Jones’ directorial debut, and she manages to create a fun chemistry between the two main characters. Eventually, the couple discovers – spoiler alert! — a Band-Aid is just a temporary solution, and love is nothing but constantly repairing, or healing, if you will.
Director: Zoe Lister-Jones
Screenplay: Zoe Lister-Jones
Running Time: 1h 31m