Fort Tilden

Rated: Not Rated

        One of the things about the New Hampshire Film Festival that I may have mentioned before, but bears repeating is that I love how you have the opportunity to see so many quality films that may never be in theaters, or even on DVD. It brings together some lower budget film makers with audiences that genuinely appreciate the effort they’ve put into their work and gets the word out about these films on a broader scale than they (perhaps) could manage on their own. The best part is when one of these little known films surprises you in such a way that you can’t help but spread the word about it afterwards, and you do all you can to get your hands on a copy of it so that you may watch it again and again. Fort Tilden was one such pleasant surprise.

                This movie follows roommates Allie and Harper as they shun their burgeoning adult responsibilities for the day and attempt to make their way to the beach. It brings into question the nature of true friendship, the responsibility level of most 20 somethings and the ever present problem of what to do with your life; the results of which are hilarious!

                I’m going to be frank and tell you that I honestly didn’t have very high hopes for this movie. After watching the trailer I didn’t think I’d want to see a movie about two snobs from New York City and their trip to the beach. In the end though, I ended up seeing Fort Tilden anyways. Afterwards I was very glad I did!

                Although the girls who play Allie and Harper are relative unknowns, they deliver joke after joke and punchline after punchline like old pros. Clare McNulty as Allie easily transforms into every girl ever who at that age doesn’t quite know where to go with her life, and yet pretends to have everything under control. Bridey Elliot as Harper portrays the dilemmas of a spoiled rich girl with such ease that you’d think she wasn’t playing a character at all.

                While there are endless numbers of buddy comedies out there depicting 20 to 30 somethings somewhat aimlessly wandering through life, Fort Tilden set itself apart because it wasn’t predictable, (as so many of them are). There were many moments that were truly delightful simply because what you thought was going to happen didn’t.  And then there’s the main characters themselves. While most buddy comedies want you to feel some connection to the characters by making them overly familiar and likeable, Fort Tilden takes the opposite approach. You’re not supposed to like Allie and Harper and you’re certainly not supposed to feel any kind of sympathy for them.  They’re the snobby rich girls from high school you love to see fail, and that’s exactly what makes this movie so wonderful; because they fail over and over and over again. Its a guilty pleasure that none of us want to admit to, but that we’re oh so happy to see!

                                Overall I think that the cast and crew of Fort Tilden have proven that you don’t need a ton of money or a wealth of Hollywood experience to make a quality movie. All you need is a good story and good people and the rest will fall into place.

                Fort Tilden is unrated, was written and directed by Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers and stars Bridey Elliot and Clare McNulty. At the moment there is no national release date because it’s still making the festival rounds.