Charlie is a thirtysomething high school teacher and failed writer in the midst of an epic emotional breakdown as he comes to grips with what was once a life predestined to succeed and now has become a little less than what he’d dreamed of. In a desperate attempt to make sense of it all, Charlie reconnects with his old high school buddies. Luke is a handsome movie star, seemingly living a charmed life but struggling with dire marital issues. Danny is a gregarious, salacious rich boy who is quite obviously burying some personal conflicts underneath his false bravado. The three friends have an obligatory night out on the town where they meet Bonnie, beautiful and intent on hooking up with Luke, Eli, charming and underaged and Chu, Bonnie’s friend who’s reluctantly caught up in the shenanigans. The boozed up crew eventually bring the festivities back to Luke’s hillside home and as L.A.’s shimmering sea of lights glow beneath them, the night quickly spirals out of control.
In SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW, director Nadine Truong, working from a smart and penetrating script by West Liang (who also portrays the character Charlie), deftly handles this character study with delicacy and bite. She has elicited the talented cast to deliver the earnest and heartfelt performances that is imperative to such closed quarter proceedings. While making a gentle nod to films such as THE BREAKFAST CLUB, ST. ELMO’S FIRE, and LESS THAN ZERO as well as recalling the more recent THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY and such classic films like WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOLF?, SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW delivers the same dramatic punch while providing some new insight into the modern experience. Truong’s film is filled with tense drama, biting wit and moment after moment of genuine revelation into the lives and minds of its characters. These lost souls somehow found themselves for one night, in a house atop the Hollywood hills, sequestered by their reluctance or fear to face their own reality. But with a little help from old friends, strangers, alcohol and some garden-variety hallucinogens, everything begins to make some sense, but is too late?
Synopsis written by: Joel Quizon