Michael and Andy are a couple of awkward, misfit bachelors living one on top of the other in an apartment complex. They moved there to be alone, but they found each other. They’re not lovers, they’re just two men coexisting in companionship and friendship. True, abiding friendship, the kind that exists in the space between frozen pizza and kung fu movies and thousand piece puzzles and a game they made up called paddleton.
But then Michael (Mark Duplass) gets diagnosed with cancer. The bad kind – the dead in a few weeks kind. Maybe a few months. In lots of pain. So Michael resolves to get his hands on a prescription for death with dignity, pills that will allow him to die at home, on his terms. That prescription isn’t available just anywhere, so Andy (Ray Romano) agrees on a road trip to procure the pills. As you can imagine, Andy has some conflicting feelings about this mission, and his best friend’s plan.
This is a quiet and unassuming movie that manages to say more about friendship between men than maybe any movie before it. With Duplass and Romano in leading roles, you may assume this is a comedy, and you’d be wrong. Not entirely wrong; it does have its moments of levity, but this slides more toward the melancholy end of the bitter-sweet scale. And it takes its time getting to where it’s going. Which is okay, really, since the terminal station is literally terminal.
How do two men who exist outside of social norms express their love to each other? What does a farewell tour look like for a single man with no family, no friends, no meaningful employment or significant other or passion or ambition. There’s no bucket list. There’s just pain, and a ticking clock. Goodbyes are hard.
In the end, it’s not a big movie moment. It’s not beautiful. It’s not redeeming. But its humanity will touch you.