Watching The Argument felt, at times, like watching a play. This is anything but a dig, one of my favorite things quarantine has deprived me of is the opportunity for live theater. There’s just something about the shared experience of laughter, the way plays are staged and constructed, that film can never truly replicate.
The Argument, however, comes about as close as I’ve ever seen.
“The Argument” is an indie comedy that follows Jack (Dan Fogler from the Fantastic Beasts franchise) and his girlfriend, Lisa (Emma Bell from The Walking Dead) as they get into an argument during a get together with some friends in their apartment. As the argument escalates, the party comes to an end and all their friends leave — but the party isn’t really over. Jack and Lisa recreate the party over and over again — with all their guests — in order to figure out who was right.
The film also stars Maggie Q (Divergent franchise, Live Free Die Hard), Danny Pudi (Mythic Quest, Community, Star Trek Beyond),Cleopatra Coleman (In the Shadow of the Moon, The Last Man on Earth), Tyler James Williams (Dear White People, Detroit),Charlotte McKinney (Fantasy Island, Flat Liners, Bay Watch), Karan Brar(Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Marielle Scott (Lady Bird),Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Mope) and Mark Ryder (Borgia).
Just the description should be enough for you to get an idea of what you’re going into if you want to watch The Argument, but let me put it into simple words: it’s a strange, quirky good time. You’ll laugh, you’ll shake your head at the screen, you’ll think “but what in the world are they thinking” and you will probably also call one or two people a liar. But you’ll do so with a smile on your face.
And isn’t that just what we want, nay, need in 2020?
It helps, of course, that the actors are so committed to the insanity of what’s going on, and it also helps that, even though it’s likely you have never gone to these lengths to prove your point, a part of you really understands these lengths. We all want to win an argument, don’t we? I know I do.
Besides, while it’s true that relationships aren’t about who is right and who is wrong, that doesn’t mean we’re ready to lose every argument.
Tyler James Williams and Maggie Q, in particularly, shined for me. In truth, every character has a particular moment, but maybe it’s because I know these two more than some of the others, I found special delight in the way their characters were going against everything I expected these actors to do. There’s magic in the unexpected, especially when you’re so very used to one thing.
Maybe, for others, the same will be true of Danny Pudi, but since I haven’t watched Community, to me he was just regular funny, not omg what is he doing how can I reconcile this funny.
But the show really and truly belongs to Dan Fogler, playing such a different role than we’re used to seeing him on, and Emma Bell, as they are what makes this wacky, funny and sometimes heartwarming comedy work. Yes, sometimes we aren’t rooting for them individually, or even as a couple, but even in those moments, we’re still enjoying them.
And that says a lot.
You need a quarantine laugh without leaving your home? Well, The Argument is a really decent way to get that, all while feeling like you are in a theater somewhere, back in a world where we’re allowed outside to do normal things.
The Argument will be available in virtual theaters and on demand September 4.