Peter returns to his hometown for the first time in a long time when his Nona dies. It’s supposed to be a quick, in-and-out trip, but Peter loses his wallet, which complicates things. He asks an old buddy, Donald, for a favour, a favour that turns into A WHOLE THING.
Donald is the kind of friend that makes you question what the hell you were thinking in high school. And he hasn’t changed a bit. He’s still a moron, and there’s nothing he loves better than reliving the glory days, days that deeply embarrass Peter now.
Kris Avedisian stars as moronic Donald, while also writing and directing. He’s made a film, with help from Kickstarter, that is relatable. Awkwardly, hopelessly relatable. Who among us does not have That Friend?
You can never go home again. Know why? It’s because the things you imagine you’ve left behind are still there, lurking beneath the thinnest little scab.
Donald is unbearable. Peter, it turns out, has always treated him less than kindly. Now he’s tolerating him with condescension, and only because he needs something from him. Ever oblivious, Donald is ingratiating to his old buddy, desperate to keep him around. His attitude and actions induce the heaviest of cringes, and yet the genius of Avedisian’s script is that the balance of sympathy shifts. The past is a clingy bitch, and no matter what Peter believes, he hasn’t quite broken up with her yet. And we, the viewers, feel just as suffocated as he does in the situation, we feel his intense urge to flee.
Donald Cried is uncomfortable to watch because it’s achingly authentic. Jesse Wakeman as Peter and Avedisian have believably thorny chemistry. But it’s Donald we’ve come to see, tears or no tears. It’s pathetic Donald who inspires pity and revulsion in unequal, guilt-inducing measure. It’s a smart little movie that will subtly worm its way into your popcorn-eating gut.