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Review: Recovery (2021)

Recovery Review


Two sisters embark on a road trip to rescue their grandmother amid the COVID-19 outbreak from her nursing home. Along the way, they meet all types of caricatural individuals that delay their trip. Recovery is directed by Mallory Everton and Stephen Meek, and it’s written by its two leading stars. It’s a small but energetic film that reminds us of the not-so-distant-past Broad City, with delightful and vibrant characters and sweet and optimistic comedy. It’s a film that will certainly find its niche during the SXSW Film Festival, although it’s not something brilliant or altogether original.

Recovery has a tender heart at its core, but has an amateurish style that doesn’t quite enchant the audience. Even if the chemistry between Everton and Whitney Call is endearing, their performances are cringy in some moments and the editing is messy most of the times. Relying on its spontaneous and unrehearsed humor, Recovery has a few laughs to provide, even if its flaws somehow remove their impact in the long run. COVID-19 is making its way to the visual arts and not everyone knows how to use it properly as a premise of a film, but Recovery actually manages to use its humor to make it enjoyabe nonetheless. Just like The End of Us, Recovery manages to be fun but ultimately feels like the first film of many that are yet to come, with a predictable outcome and not much originality in presenting its message.

During its runtime, Recovery sets up some funny situations with the awkwardness of social distancing and makes fun of society’s unsupportive members of the COVID-19 rules, making its point on people’s uncaring behavior towards the severity of the virus. But even if it mildly charms the audience, Recovery needed to be deeper and more balanced between having fun and knowing when to be serious, which ultimately it does not. The relationship between the two sisters is what gives Recovery some of its charisma but is not enough to make the film have a full recovery of its most notorious flaws. While bringing some nostalgia on the female buddy comedy, and that is most definitely appreciated, Recovery hasn’t much new to offer to the visual arts, falling into the usual formula we already are familiar with.

But there is something adorable in the way both creators and actresses relate to each other, bringing a womance that captivates by their bond, and has some funny scenes that will make you release a laugh here and there, but sadly Recovery isn’t something you will be remembering for a long time after watching it. Filmmakers are still learning how to use this virus to their advantage, but using it, demands new, fresh and creative content and many of them are failing to do so. During the SXSW Film Festival, several films used the pandemic as their premise, but still haven’t managed to bring something that is worthwile to audiences around the world. Simplicity, in this case, is not enough. People want to distance themselves of the outside world and are hoping for refreshing comedies that will make them forget it for a while, Recovery manages to do that, but lacks originality in becoming something more balanced and relevant.

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Title: Recovery

Original Title: Recovery

Directors: Mallory Everton & Stephen Meek

Cast: Mallory Everton, Whitney Call, Jessica Drolet, Stephen Meek.

Runtime: 80 min.

Trailer | Recovery