Girlfriend (2010 film)

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Girlfriend 2010 TIFF poster.JPG
2011 theatrical poster
Directed by Justin Lerner
Produced by Jerad Anderson
Kristina Lauren Anderson
Justin Lerner
Shaun O'Banion
Written by Justin Lerner
Starring Evan Sneider
Shannon Woodward
Amanda Plummer
Jackson Rathbone
Jerad Anderson
Darren MacDonald
Music by Lawrence Abrams
Jerad Anderson
Ben Graupner
Ben Johnson
Jackson Rathbone
Cinematography Quyen Tran
Edited by Jeff Castelluccio
Distributed by Wayne/Lauren Film Company (theatrical), Strand Releasing (DVD / VOD)
Release date
  • September 12, 2010 (2010-09-12) (TIFF)
  • July 15, 2011 (2011-07-15) (New York City)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $200,000 USD (estimate)

Girlfriend is a 2010 American independent drama film written and directed by Justin Lerner. The film stars newcomer Evan Sneider, along with Shannon Woodward, Amanda Plummer, Jackson Rathbone, Jerad Anderson, Darren MacDonald, and made its debut at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[1][2]


Evan (Evan Sneider) is a young man with Down syndrome who lives with his mother, Celeste (Amanda Plummer) in a working class, small town. When he unexpectedly comes into a large amount of money, he uses it to romantically pursue a young mother, Candy (Shannon Woodward), who is still entangled in her previous relationship with her abusive ex-boyfriend (Jackson Rathbone).




The film's original score features the work of 100 Monkeys, a band that includes the film's stars Jackson Rathbone and Jerad Anderson.[3]


Girlfriend premièred as an official selection at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, and then went on to play at the 2011 Festroia International Film Festival, 2011 Moscow International Film Festival, 2011 Galway Film Fleadh, and the 2011 Ghent International Film Festival.[4] The film also won the Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature and the Audience Award at the 2011 Woods Hole Film Festival,[5] Best Feature Film and Best Director at the 2011 White Sands International Film Festival,[6] and the Audience Award for Best US Narrative Feature (in a tie with Pariah) at the 2011 Mill Valley Film Festival.[7]

In November 2011, Girlfriend was awarded the Audience Award at the 2011 IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards.[8] This was the second year the Gotham Independent Film Audience Award was given out, 2010 being the first, when Waiting For Superman took the honor. The award kicked off the ceremony as the first of the evening, and was given to writer and director Justin Lerner and producers Jerad Anderson, Kristina Lauren Anderson, and Shaun O'Banion by actors Zachary Quinto and Sarah Paulson.[9]

In April 2012, following the Gotham Independent Film Audience Award win, distributor Strand Releasing acquired the DVD and Video On Demand (VOD) rights to the film and released it on August 7, 2012.


The film has received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 44% based on 9 reviews.[10] Metacritic gives the film a rating of 42% based on reviews from 5 critics.[11]

Ray Bennett from The Hollywood Reporter praised the film as "accomplished and tense" and wrote that first time actor Evan Sneider "handles scenes of tenderness, mystery, and anger with much skill. Shannon Woodward matches him."[12] John Anderson of Variety gave a mixed review but praised the chemistry between Evan Sneider and Amanda Plummer and also called Plummer's performance "quite brilliant."[13] Andrew O'Hehir wrote in that the film "has tremendous heart and integrity" with an ending that is "gentle, optimistic, and just about right."[14]

The New York Post gave the film two stars out of a possible four, stating that credit was due to "filmmaker Justin Lerner with getting an affecting performance out of Evan Sneider, a longtime friend with Down syndrome but no prior acting experience, in the emotionally manipulative and problematic melodrama Girlfriend."[15] The New York Times gave a mixed review saying that some events in the film were "melodramatic" and, "while not necessarily predictable" were not a "very surprising chain of events".[16] Slant Magazine gave the film a negative review with 1.5 stars out of a possible four and stated that "Girlfriend doesn't present us with anything life-affirming, challenging, or expectation-beating about a lead character with Down's. It's quite the opposite: The film at every turn wants us to feel increasingly worse for Evan" but admitted that the film seemed to "have its heart in the right place."[17]

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Girlfriend at theToronto International Film Festival". Toronto International Film Festival. Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  2. ^ Morris, Wesley (September 30, 2011). "Girlfriend movie review". Retrieved October 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ Carroll, Larry. "100 Monkeys to Provide Soundtrack, Score For Jackson Rathbone's 'Girlfriend'". MTV. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ Lerner, J. (November 26, 2011). "IFP GOTHAM AWARDS: A GREAT RUN FOR "GIRLFRIEND"". Fimmaker Magazine. Archived from the original on January 9, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Woods Hole Film Festival, 2011 awards". Archived from the original on January 9, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c "2011 White Sands International Film Festival Winners:". White Sands International Film Festival. Archived from the original on January 9, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "2011 Mill Valley Film Festival awards". Mill Valley Film Festival. Archived from the original on January 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Szalai, Georg (November 28, 2011). "Gotham Awards 2011". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  9. ^ Cox, Gordon (November 28, 2011). "'Beginners,' 'Tree of Life' tie at Gotham Awards". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Girlfriend (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Girlfriend". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  12. ^ Bennett, Ray (October 14, 2010). "Girlfriend review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 9, 2011. 
  13. ^ Anderson, John (September 28, 2010). "Girlfriend review". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2011. 
  14. ^ O'Hehir, Andrew (July 15, 2011). "Girlfriend review". Retrieved December 9, 2011. 
  15. ^ Lumenick, Lou (July 14, 2011). "Girlfriend review". New York Post. Retrieved October 2, 2011. 
  16. ^ Hale, Mike (July 14, 2011). "Girlfriend (2010)". The New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2011.  (subscription required)
  17. ^ Henley, Kalvin (July 11, 2011). "Girlfriend review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]