The TIFF Next Wave Film festival hosted the film Lily & Kat this year, showcasing the struggles of twenty-somethings set in the landscape of New York. Lily & Kat is a week long story of best friends Lily & Kat before the two become separated by an ocean. Kat is leaving New York and Lily to return to London to work for her dad at a record label. Lily, acted by Jessica Rothe, is not happy and continuously flips between being catty and trying to enjoy her last days with her best friend. Rothe does the character justice by switching roles from adulthood innocence to justifying her choices, and to finally breaking down.
The other half of the movie title – Kat played by Skins alumni Hannah Murray, gives her character depth in a performance similar to her Cassie portrayal in the UK version of Skins; however, something falls flat in Kat’s storyline.
The film’s deeper meaning is finding yourself and reconnecting with the person that you thought you would become. Lily works at a boutique, rather than creating her own line of fashion pieces and her “boyfriend” is a photographer/cheater/loser. The film is augmented by Lily in a white room talking to an unknown voice about her life, choices, and those around her. This gives the audience a glimpse into Lily’s discovery of herself and her attempts to confront change; to become her own individual person. This character growth is not developed with Kat, and she soon becomes a side character in the drama of Lily’s life. The film slips a couple of times into a pretentious air that affects the level of sympathy towards the characters as it often seems reminiscent of Skins or HBO’s Girls.
Lily & Kat is an enjoyable film, striking a chord with anyone that is trying to navigate adulthood or the feelings of drifting from friends that helped shaped you. However, the characters and story do fall short and become a bit lost in cliché settings and professions that cause the audience to drift from the characters.