‘Our Friend’ moving story of friends dealing with death

Rick's Reviews

“Our Friend” is an emotional tale of love, life and death. (Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures)

(KGET) — A very strong story about life, love and friendship tops this week’s new entertainment options.

“Our Friend” Grade 3 star: The tendency with those who make movies or TV shows dealing with death is to want to create unrealistic heroes. It’s as if the thinking is that death is so bad only the flawlessly good can create the proper balance.

A movie like “Our Friend” – based on a true story – offers a more rational look at the loss of a life. It’s not about being a hero but just being there when someone is in need.

In this case, that someone is Dane (Jason Segel). Despite not being the easiest person to be around and having no real control over his own life, Dane steps up when he learns his friend Matt (Casey Affleck) has become overwhelmed while trying to deal with his wife’s (Dakota Johnson) terminal cancer. Dane puts his life on hold to come to the aid of his friends.

The film by Gabriela Cowperthwaite based on Matthew Teague’s National Magazine Award winning article is more powerful and inspirational than the majority of weepy tales of love and death. That strength comes from how grounded the story remains. Dane’s not shown to be a saint but as a very relatable human being who just wants to help.

Power comes from the humanity of the characters and not from some manufactured emotional tripe. “Our Friend” doesn’t demand the viewer to become emotionally involved but reaches out with a light touch to the heart.

The film is available through Video on Demand.

New on DVD as of Jan. 19

“Scooby-Doo! and Guess Who?: The Complete First Season”: This release features 26 mystery adventures starring a mix of celebrities from television, film, music, sports and comics.

“A Cold Hard Truth”: Man must deal with his own troubled past while looking to avenge the wrongful death of his cousin.

“The Climb”: A look at the often awkward and toxic lifelong friendship of two very different people.

“A Cold Hard Truth”: Journalist Stewart Cooper (Dorian Missick) begins to unravel a web of shaming, lies, and secrets after his cousin commits suicide.

“Toys of Terror”: Stash of toys found in an old house end up being a deadly discovery.

“Max Cloud”:  Teen gamer opens a portal into her favorite side-scroller where she becomes trapped in an intergalactic prison that’s home to the galaxy’s most dangerous villains.

“Martin Eden”: The film based on the 1909 novel by Jack London tells the story of a writer who hopes his skills will help him rise above his station.

“The Village in the Woods”: A scam by a couple leads them to a town where the residents are hiding a huge secret.

“The Kid Detective”: A once-celebrated kid detective (Adam Brody), now 31, continues to solve the same trivial mysteries between hangovers and bouts of self-pity.

“The Road to Mandalay”: The fates of two Burmese immigrants sneak into Thailand become entwined.

“Open Up To Me”: A transgender woman struggles to find her identity.

“Lennox Lewis: The Untold Story”: Look at the life of the three-time world heavyweight boxing champion.

Available on digital platforms

“Let Him Go”: Kevin Costner and Diane Lane star in this film about how far a family will go to save one of their own. Will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Feb. 2.

“Stallone, Frank, That Is”: Documentary examines why Frank Stallone has not gained the same fame as his brother, Sylvester Stallone.

“Breaking Fast”: Two men discover they have more in common than they think.

“Brothers by Blood”: Young man struggles with the guilt over the death of his sister 30 years ago.

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