Movie Diary

Live long enough and you’re sure to have a perspective on what a friend is (and what a friend isn’t, for that matter).

I’ve had countless friends in my life. Some have stuck around for decades, while others were gone in a matter of months. But what I’ve realized is that the length of time of any friendship is not indicative of the friendship’s worth.

Take Danny, for example. 

Danny and I met in kindergarten and were friends until the 6th grade. I was drawn to him because he was rambunctious like me. We shared a love of sports and physical activities and did our best to athletically outshine every other kid in our grade. Looking back, I now realize that we pushed each other to excel, just like Lennon and McCartney would when they wrote a song.

Deep down, I knew Danny was better than me at the more difficult activities, likely because he had no fear. It was nothing for him to try to walk across a picnic table on his hands or flip off the side of the diving board into the pool. Danny took me out of my comfort zone and forced me to try things I would have never thought possible. 

I’ll never forget the day my mother sat me down and told me that Danny and his family were moving to Florida at the end of the school year. I was devastated. He came back to visit the next summer, but then we lost contact. To this day, I’ve never had a friend that pushed me as hard as Danny did. 

And then there was Chris, a kid I met while spending the summer in California during college. Chris worked the same menial summer job as I did and played host by showing me what it was like to party in California during the 1980s.

Chris was from a wealthy family and had access to resources I had never seen. His father was a music industry executive, so their house was filled with memorabilia from countless musicians. We spent that entire summer going to concerts up and down the West Coast.

I remember Chris’ father being wary of me when I visited. I could tell he thought I was just another punk kid who was likely to steal some of his stuff (it didn’t help that my hair was past my shoulders and I dressed like I was homeless). He softened up to me once we started talking about music and he learned that I actually knew a few things about bands that he deemed important.

I only knew Chris for three months before I headed back to the East Coast, never to see him again. But on the day I left, he stopped over to say goodbye and handed me a large envelope. Inside was the album cover for U2’s “War” LP, signed by Bono and The Edge. Chris said his father had two of them so he wouldn’t miss it. I’m not sure if that was the truth, but I was over the moon to possess it (and I still have it today).

And finally there was Sarah.

Sarah worked with me for a year when I was first out of college. She was a buxom redhead with insatiable energy. She loved to laugh and party, but more than anything, she loved to sing.

I had a room in my first apartment dedicated to music. It held my guitars and amps and a host of other musical items. But the thing that my friends loved the most was my professional karaoke machine. 

Once Sarah found out that I had a karaoke machine, our singing parties became legendary. I used to sing and play guitar, but rarely in front of other people. Sarah brought me out of my shell and forced me to really project my voice. She loved singing duets and I was happy to oblige. I have countless fond memories of belting out songs with her.

And then Sarah met a guy and within a few weeks had opted to move to Virginia. We kept in touch for a bit, but then, like so many other great friends, the relationship drifted into the background.

This week’s feature, “The Banshees of Inisherin,” is an interesting meditation on friendship and what happens when one side of a friendship decides that the relationship needs to end. 

Starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as longtime friends living on a remote island in Ireland in the early 1900s, “The Banshees of Inisherin” pushes the limits of our understanding of why a close friendship may deteriorate, even when neither party has done anything wrong. 

I must admit, this was a stellar film, but it’s likely not for everyone. At its heart, it is a dark comedy that forces the viewer to consider numerous vantage points. But in doing so, it may alienate people with certain tastes.

Check this one out if you’re in the mood for something different, just be prepared for some intense twists and turns.

A wrenching “A-” for “The Banshees of Inisherin,” now available for rental on numerous streaming platforms. Email Dom at

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