In Review

All My Friends Hate Me review: cringe-inducing comedy-horror

A movie about class and social anxiety from Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton

Comedians Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton made their names with the YouTube hit High Renaissance Man, in which they sent up clueless toffs at university, said Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. It was “very funny”, but their jointly scripted debut feature film is a “dark satire”, and it doesn’t quite come off.

Pete, an entitled 31-year-old (played by Stourton), has just returned from doing charity work abroad, and decides to reconnect with his old gang from university, one of whom offers to host a birthday weekend for him at his “colossal country estate”. There Pete starts to sense that his chums have an unspoken agenda, and that he’s the punchline to an unkind joke that he doesn’t understand. It’s an interesting enough premise, but the film leads up to “a big reveal that feels anticlimactic and undeveloped”, and seems a bit of a waste of Stourton’s natural comic talent. 

If you have a university reunion on the horizon, I wouldn’t go and see All My Friends Hate Me, said Deborah Ross in The Spectator. This is “social anxiety as horror (almost), and you won’t just cringe for the full 90 minutes, you will violently cringe”. I’m not sure what the film’s message is – “once a jerk always a jerk?” – but it creates a horrible “vortex of tension and anxiety”, and it is extremely compelling, and surprising. 

I liked it very much, said Kevin Maher in The Times. It’s largely a drama about the class system, and takes “raw swipes at the persistent inequities” within it; but the “nuanced and sophisticated script never once degenerates into needless posh-bashing”. Instead, it asks “bleak questions about the primitive nature of most social relationships (who’s using whom?). And it ultimately finds that human beings, of all classes, are severely lacking.” 

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