Dakota Johnson’s ‘The Friend’ Review: How much are you willing to do for a friend?

The real-life tearjerker story is about life, death, love, and friendship.

‘The Friend’ is a real-life tragic tale of journalist Matthew Teague who chose to pen down the extreme gut-wrenching phase of his life in the form of an article, “The Friend: Love Is Not a Big Enough Word” for Esquire Magazine as a tribute for his friend. It was an ode to his best friend, Dane, who was there in the most crucifying and testing time of Matthew’s life; he was there standing tall with him and Nicole when they needed him the most.

Gabriela Cowperthwaite has adapted this tearjerker true story into a cinematic experience and presented us with her interpretation of the essay, ‘The Friend’. The movie stars Cassey Affleck, Dakota Johnson, and Jason Segel in the titular characters. Jason Segel’s Dane Faucheux’s selfless friendship is the subject of the ‘The Friend’, but the movie finds it difficult to cope up with it.

The movie chronicles about a 34-year-old woman, Nicole, played by Dakota, who is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The screenplay circles in and around the year 2013, where Nicole’s disease grows from a medical threat to the most degenerative stage. The film jumps back and forth in chronological order between time periods and we see the evolution of the three friends over a decade.

Dakota Johnson's 'The Friend' Review: How much are you willing to do for a friend? 1
The Friend is a real-life story starring Cassey Affleck, Dakota Johnson, and Jason Segel.

The movie was supposed to be about Dane’s devotion and selflessness towards the family. Leaving his own life behind, he stayed with Nicole & Matt in the darkest times. He moved in with them to support the couple and bring up their daughters who had no inkling about the tragedy that had grappled their house.

But how much of the tenderness and pain from the article was successfully transported to the screenplay? Honestly, not much. ‘The Friend’ somewhere hangs in the middle. It boasts about the concept of selfless friendship as the real-life draft of Matthew, but Gabriela fails to live up to it. She ends up diluting the plot with its bad and saturated structure.

The movie failed to enunciate the raw and real emotions that Teague had poured on the paper while writing his life story; a melodramatic storyline is what audiences are served with through the movie. The appealing star cast is the only thing holding the shabby screenplay tight.

The Friend doesn’t have a release date yet, but the movie is expected to hit theatres by the end of 2019. It’ll be interesting to see how impressed the moviegoers will be with this real-life adaption.