© Prokino/Studiocanal

The Climb
U.S.A. 2019

Opening 20 Aug 2020

Directed by: Michael Angelo Covino
Writing credits: Michael Angelo Covino, Kyle Marvin
Principal actors: Michael Angelo Covino, Kyle Marvin, Gayle Rankin, Judith Godrèche, Talia Balsam

The story of a friendship between two guys, Mike (Michael Angelo Covino) and Kyle (Kyle Marvin). The ups and downs of their lives are showcased in individually titled chapters. These chapters represent various life stages of their seemingly destructive yet enduring relationship. Over the span of many years and varying vignettes their bond is portrayed as unbreakable. Whether they experience a love triangle, infidelity, death, a child, fights, death threats...these two manage to maintain their friendship.

The situations represented in each chapter are themselves believable but put together in one film it a bit of a stretch. There is some comedy thrown in, but I did spend a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what was happening at the beginning of each individual chapter of the film. But mostly I spent my time wondering whether these two -- Mike and Kyle (yes, they are the writers as well as the actors) -- should be friends. Perhaps this is the epitome of a toxic friendship. Or is this what male bonding looks like?

This is a short film from 2018 that has been made into a feature-length film. The chapters are like short films all put together without the link between scenes. Perhaps as a series, the film would have been easier to appreciate. (Christine Riney)

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