Contemporary filmmakers are nothing if not risk takers. From death-taunting stunts to unsimulated sex, whistleblowing attempts and dangerously controversial political statements, there’s virtually nothing a director won’t put in their film. But in the century-plus since the first moving picture hit the big screen, few filmmakers have been gutsy enough to have their first act include a newborn baby being dropped onto cold, hard concrete—which simultaneously makes Sarah Adina Smith’s The Drop one of recent cinema’s biggest revelations and biggest disappointments.
The Drop starts strong. Impressively strong, in fact. In the midst of trying for their first baby, happily married couple Lex (Anna Konkle) and Mani (Jermaine Fowler) travel to Puerto Vallarta to celebrate their friend Mia’s (Aparna Nancherla) marriage to Peggy (Jennifer Lafleur). The gang’s flight to Mexico contains cheeky echoes of the iconic pre-bachelorette party scene in Bridesmaids, and confidently assures us that we are in for an easily entertaining, delightfully dysfunctional destination comedy a la Girls Trip or the Hangover franchise. Then the plane lands, and Smith dials things up to ten.
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