Review: ‘Dysfunctional Friends’

A motley collection of twentysomethings has to spend five days and nights together, without anyone getting fed up and fleeing. The characters aren't the ones the filmmakers should be worried about.

With about five more friends than a schematic comedy can comfortably accommodate, “Dysfunctional Friends” is about a man who dies and sends his buddies to hell: In order to collect their piece of his $13 million estate, a motley collection of twentysomethings has to spend five days and nights together, without anyone getting fed up and fleeing. The characters aren’t the ones the filmmakers should be worried about.

Dysfunctional Friends

In addition to being crowded and overlong, the pic is thoroughly unpleasant: It’s hard to believe the characters — philandering ad man Brett (Wesley Jonathan), witchy hair stylist Ebony (Reagan Gomez-Preston), porn director Gary (Jason Weaver), washed-up rapper Jamal (Hosea Chanchez), professional sports groupie Storm (Stacy Keibler), et al. — were ever friends to begin with. Or that, once they finish trading insults, they’d ever talk again, much less stick around for the sequel writer-helmer Corey Grant so obviously sets up. Although none of the actors is given a lot to work with, ex-footballer Terrell Owens makes a credible feature debut, and Persia White, as struggling actress Trenyce, delivers a marvelous solo scene, talking on her cell. Maybe Moviefone was at the other end.

Dysfunctional Friends

Production

A Datari Turner Prods. release and presentation. Produced by Greg Carter, Turner. Executive producers, Gordon Bijelonic, Patrick Thomas Jr., Neil Harrington. Co-producer, Chevez Frazier. Directed, written by Corey Grant.

Crew

Camera (color), Richard J. Vialet; editors, Ralph Jean-Pierre, Datari Turner; music, Ira Antelis, Jason Grey; music supervisor, Kendrick Drack Muse; production designer, Rhonda Marie Wagner; costume designer, Ca-Trece Mas'Sey. Reviewed at AMC Loews Village 7, New York, Feb. 5, 2012. Running time: 111 MIN.

With

Stacey Dash, Reagan Gomez-Preston, Wesley Jonathan, Datari Turner, Jason Weaver, Persia White, Terrell Owens, Hosea Chanchez, Stacy Keibler.

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