Friday Film Review - 'The Climb'

Oct 23, 2020

"The Climb," was in a way, born at the Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Michael Angelo Covino and co-written and co-starred in by Covino and Kyle Marvin, it premiered here in 2018 as a “short."

The beginning of the film is basically, the original short. It shows Kyle, much less fit than buddy Mike, struggling to keep pace as they bike uphill in the French Alps. Kyle is about to marry to a French girl and as he peddles, he rambles on about how much she loves him for who he is. How much he loves her for who she is and that he can't wait to spend the rest of his life with her. Mike looks back over his shoulder at Kyle and casually says, “I slept with her.”

From that point  on, their lives and strange friendship become a roller coaster ride through years of love and hate, weddings and funerals, birth and divorce. Their relationship is confounding; at times cringe-worthy but most often comical.

When asked what inspired the story, Covino admitted he once had a French girlfriend who slept with one of his friends. He was thinking about it during a bike ride and out came the scene that started it all.  The characters of Mike and Kyle portrayed by Mike and Kyle were so much fun in the short, they wanted to explore them playing off each other as the years progressed.

They tried to have the feature ready for Sundance 2019 in but didn't make the deadline. Instead it premiered at Cannes in May winning the  'Coup de Coeur'  prize. It was also a favorite at Telluride in August and Toronto in September. It was selected for The Spotlight category at Sundance 2020, reserved for films which hit big at other film festivals.

Covino and Marvin have been good friends for a long time which makes for believable chemistry between their characters. Marvin says they have sort of a “shorthand” in how they work together. It shows in the film and when you see the two interviewed together.

"The Climb"  is rated  R for language, sexual content, some nudity, and brief drug use. It runs 1 hour 35 'bro-bonding' minutes. Like many films it was scheduled for release earlier this year but has been delayed due to Covid. It hits theatres, including our Redstone on November 13. This is Barb Bretz with your Friday Film Review. See you at the movies.

Here is the trailer.