“Banana Split” will be your new favorite teen movie

“Banana Split” is a new rom-rom from American Indie that just recently premiered at the LA Film Festival. You may recall Dylan Sprouse talking about the movie, his latest acting project, during his recent appearance on MTV’s TRL. Surely the title will get your attention, but don’t worry, that’s not the only thing that’s irresistible about this movie.

Let’s start from the beginning: the cast is perfect. (Obviously any movie that stars Dylan Sprouse means the casting is flawless. It is Dylan Sprouse after all). Dylan plays the hot male lead that our main girl can’t help but fall in love with. I mean, it’s Dylan Sprouse—so pretty believable.

Hannah Marks plays the main character—an awkward but loveable gal named April. (Hannah Marks also co-wrote the movie!) And Hannah is the perfect female lead. Honestly, she’s the kind of character that in the past, would’ve fit the “quirky best friend” trope in a traditional rom-com. But it’s 2018, and we’re blessed to have her as the leading lady. She’s shy in the first few seconds of the film, but quickly comes out of her shell when she starts making out with Dylan Sprouse—as any teenage girl would. The beginning moments of the movie show a fast arc from her, from shy girl, to fearless girlfriend to edgy senior, to single gal. In the first five minutes alone, all the emotions of a high-school senior is played out brilliantly. From the joy of first love to the heartbreak of growing apart to the annoying bickering of people who have spent too much time together.

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From there stems some drama (what can you expect when the movie takes place in high school?) The summer before college has arrived and April is now single, still missing Nick, the love of her life. But after some Instagram stalking, April realizes that Nick has a new lady in his life. April is heartbroken and furious, and she wants to tear Nick’s new girlfriend apart. But when she meets the new girl, Clara, at a party, she ends up really liking her. Not just that, but Clara likes her too. It may not make any sense to them, but the two girls feel a connection, and begin hanging out. It’s cool girl meets quirky girl, and it’s a perfect match. Soon, the two become best friends.

It’s summer and everything is good. The girls hang out together all the time, and leave Nick out of the picture. They even have a rule: no talking about Nick during their girl time. And with that, the bond these girls share is strengthened, as if they’ve known each other their whole lives. They’re only weeks away from April going to college, but the girls want to spend as much time together before summer is over…what can go wrong, right?

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Obviously, things can’t stay perfect forever, especially when love is involved. Without giving too much away, the seemingly perfect summer falls apart just a couple of weeks before college starts for April. But don’t worry—this movie has a happy ending. Not a happily ever after like you’ve seen before in rom-coms, but a happy ending none the less.

Honestly, this movie is pretty feminist. We’ve seen too many movies about women hating each other over a man. But in this one, it’s all about the connection between the girls. And that’s pretty special.
Unlike the classic teen movies of the past, this one includes social media, as only a story from 2018 can. Most modern day movies make the social media aspect feel forced and unrealistic, but in “Banana Split,” it works. It moves the story along perfectly and actually inspires much of the story to take place. Even when social media is in the background, it plays a role in a believable way. Speaking of the background, everything down to the littlest of background details are flawless. The extras just barely off screen, the music, the scenery—it all comes together beautifully.

Courtesy of AMERICAN INDIE

But the best thing about this movie comes with its leading lady. This movie belongs to Hannah Marks, and in every way, it’s all hers. With a lead like Dylan, you need a girl that can hold her own. And that’s exactly what Hannah Marks does. You will know her name. Her acting is bold but realistic and her comedic timing is impeccable. Her character is sad, but in the most loveable way. You never feel annoyed by her, you just feel for her. And you can laugh with her, not at her.

Complete with fun (but not forced) dialogue, fun Easter eggs, a killer cast (including The Thundermans star Addison Riecke) and a screw-you to typical tropes, “Banana Split” is everything you want a rom-com to be and more. Do yourself a favorite and check it out!

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