If esteemed French filmmaker Éric Rohmer were still alive today, and he decided to make a movie about modern dude-bros, the result might look something like The Climb, which is the most European feeling American comedy in quite some time.
The Climb is a collaboration between star-director-and-co-writer Michael Angelo Covino and co-star-slash-co-writer Kyle Marvin, who take their off screen and life-long friendship and apply it to the tale of besties who fall in and out of favour with each other over the course of a decade. It kicks off when a cycling trip through France takes a dark turn, after the athletically inclined alpha Mike (Covino) drops a life altering bombshell of a secret on out of shape beta Kyle (Marvin). From there, The Climb is divided into chapters that show how both men progress and regress after that moment.
The Climb is one of those comedies that’s built upon its overall unpredictability, even though Mike is written as a character that will probably never change his selfish stripes, and Kyle has had several moments that have forced him to evolve as a person. Covino stages each of these seven chapters through the use of long, elaborate takes that’s more dazzling than one might expect from a character driven indie film (with a transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas across the course of a single shot that’s jaw-droppingly awesome).
In addition to boasting two leads who know their characters inside and out and a disarming sense of style, The Climb also brilliantly balances comedy, drama, and outright weirdness to create something thoughtful and unforgettable. To say more about this one would be to deprive everyone of all the fun.