in Movies

“Supporting Characters” Review


Photo: Let It Play


Supporting Characters is about the friendship and personal lives of two film editors working on a messy project with a particularly difficult, erratic director.

Alex Karpovsky of Girls fame (sort of) stars as Nick – one-half of the film editing duo. He’s engaged to a woman (Sophia Takal) who cries over her promotion because she hates her job and wants him to sign a prenup before they get married – not an entirely unreasonable request. Meanwhile, Darryl (Tarik Lowe), his best friend and work partner, is dating bossy and outspoken Liana (Melonie Diaz), but that relationship is going nowhere fast.

The problems in their work life and personal life begin to share a sort of symbiotic relationship, but at the core of the film is Nick and Darryl’s friendship and loyalty to one another. Nick refuses to take on a new film editing job without Darryl by his side, for example. Nick is more experienced and makes the final decisions, but Darryl is an asset on the technical side of things. Darryl has a more laidback personality, but gets up every morning to go running – rapping a Childish Gambino track to get himself pumped up.

At the same time, the duo’s friendship and loyalty is tested and there is plenty of bickering as the two squabble over cutting out one of the supporting characters from the movie they’re working on. Darryl empathizes with the actor and doesn’t want to take his “moment” away from him, especially with the actor being African-American, but Nick disagrees – the scene isn’t integral to the movie and they need to meet a certain running time.

During the course of the movie, Nick develops a flirtation with the lead actress of the movie, played by Arielle Kebbel. She comes into the editing studio to record lines that’ll be dubbed into the movie later. Elsewhere, Darryl attempts to deal – poorly – with his girlfriend issues.

Tonally, Supporting Characters is very down-to-earth and stays true to its indie roots – the director made the movie for less than $50,000. Not exactly a laugh riot, the humor is subtle and played down. It’s mumblecore at its finest.

Arielle Kebbel was the weak spot for me. Her sudden interest in Nick came across as completely random. Watching Karpovsky and Lowe together, however, was entertaining. The characters played off each other very well. Most importantly, I think Supporting Characters shows that well-made movies with unknown actors and budgets less than $50,000 can be done.

three and a half stars


  • Starring: Alex Karpovsky, Tarik Lowe
  • Directed by: Daniel Schechter
  • Running Time: 87 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy