Guy Friends (2024)

Because all girls have them.  You know, those platonic male friends where nothing but laughs and support is ever expected.  Maybe a side hug here and there, but no lingering touches.  And definitely no kissing.  No lines are ever crossed.  It’s a safety net or sorts, but . . .  

. . .  what if all those guy friends - who kept their sexual interest at bay - started professing their love to a recently broken up woman at the same time? 

This is the hilarious and often surreal territory of Guy Friends, a guerilla-styled romantic comedy which is already making waves at film festivals.  Why?  Because it’s hands-down the smartest romantic comedy in ages.  It’s something Hollywood can only dream of putting out and yet they don’t.  The film is equal parts ingenious in its true to life character development and spot-on in its composition as one female decides to break from the normal and explore a friendship with - shocking! - another female.

"what if all those guy friends - who kept their sexual interest at bay - started professing their love to a recently broken up woman at the same time?"

This is the hysterical territory of writer/director Jonathan Smith’s Guy Friends, a (mostly) black-and-white romantic comedy which was filmed on the streets of New York City right as the restrictions from the pandemic were being lifted.  This film is a testament to real living and to loving for real reasons.  It feels authentic in its drive and never lets its ambition get in its own way.  It’s independent filmmaking at its finest. 

An official selection at Cambria Film Festival, Guy Friends gets a whole lot of its character-driven gusto from the outstanding performance from newcomer Kavita Jariwala, an Indian-American nurse who never acted prior to being cast as Jaime, a self-described “guy’s girl” who finds herself at the center of a whole lot of unwanted attention when her boyfriend, Patrick (TV writer Michael Dahlgren) and her end their relationship.  She’s fun.  She’s charming.  She’s super friendly and, you guessed it, almost every male mistakes her fun self as desiring them. 

Suddenly, everyone is professing their love to her.  Let’s see, there’s next door neighbor Bradley (James Redfern), her doorman Ralph (Brett Eidman), the barista Simon (Mike Drosos), her rideshare driver Ralph (Wilson Conkwright), and the front desk worker Max (Jorge Lucas).  Perhaps the only man who understands her is the architect Mr. Vanderbilt (Patrick Collins).  They all adore her and for good reason.  This is where Jariwala’s performance shines.Guy Friends (2024)

Quite comical in its willingness to explore the surreal situation with massive declarations of love, Smith’s film can also read as a love letter to the classic New York City of Woody Allen’s early films.  The comedy is sharp.  The wit is stealthy.  And the performances are great.  There is a classic feel to its production and its tight narrative as the city absolutely comes alive for Smith’s lens, especially when the breezy banter between the girls picks up.  Oh, yes, there’s another girl involved and the chemistry between these two friends is as bursting with charm as the cinematography.

Co-starring an excellent Katie Muldowney - who is a wonder alongside Jariwala as their different personalities never waiver and compliment each other - and a solid performance from Justin Clark, Guy Friends is also the winner of “Outstanding Acting Duo” for Kavita Jariwala and Katie Muldowney at Ridgefield Independent Film Festival, a nominee for “Breakthrough Female Performance” for Kavita Jariwala at Festival of Cinema NYC, the winner of “Best Feature Film” and a nominee for “Best Comedy,” “Best Director,” and “Best Actress in a Feature Film” at Bergen International Film Festival of NJ.

The romantic comedy is being distributed by Freestyle Digital Media.  Guy Friends opens theatrically at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City, the Cinelounge Sunset in Los Angeles, the Cinelounge Tiburon in San Francisco, the SIFF Film Center in Seattle, the Harkins Theatres Gateway Pavilions 18 in Phoenix, and Burns Court Cinema in Sarasota on May 31, 2024.  The film will also debut on streaming platforms that day.

I love you, Jaime Sharma.  There.  I said it.

5/5 stars

Film Details

Guy Friends (2024)

MPAA Rating: Not rated
106 mins
: Jonathan Smith
Chris Siemasko; Jonathan Smith
Kavita Jariwala; Katie Muldowney; Justin Clark
: Comedy
Every Girl Has Them.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Freestyle Digital Media
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 31, 2024
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: When Jaime, a self-described "guy's girl," and her boyfriend break up, all of her guy friends simultaneously profess their secret, undying love for her.


Guy Friends (2024)