We've got a movie that should be on your radar this weekend because who doesn't love a feel-good comedy about the complexities of sibling relationships?
5 Years Apart is, at times, a laugh-out-loud funny look at two brothers born on the same day, you guessed it, five years apart. But due to miscommunication and a host of other issues, the two are estranged until they both show up at their parent's house to celebrate their birthdays, unaware the other will be there.
What follows next is an up and down ride that takes us through an incredibly meaningful weekend for the brothers.
There are some spoilers below, though significant plot points have been averted.
Winner of Best Ensemble Cast at the L.A. Indie Film Fest, the cast, which features some seasoned T.V. vets, is by far the highlight of the film.
The central foursome is all well-known for their talents on the small screen, and they all slide into their roles effortlessly.
Chloe Bennet, of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fame, gets top billing as free-spirited Emma, who sparks up an immediate friendship (and something more) with one half of the birthday twins, Sammy.
There's an innocence about Emma that Bennet plays to perfection. She's funny, down to earth, quick on your feet, and the perfect complement with whomever she's sharing a scene.
Roswell, New Mexico scene-stealer Michael Vlamis, brings his natural charm to Sammy, who seems like the quintessential "problem" child from the outside, but ends up being the most insightful of the bunch.
Vlamis is the perfect actor to play Sammy, whose flirty, carefree nature is endearing and infectious. You can't help but root for Sammy to get whatever good things he wants in life.
It's hard to pull off the stick in the mud kind of character, put Scott Michael Foster does a decent job, portraying older brother Andrew with just a hint of sadness that helps shade in some of the backstory the audience is missing.
Andrew misses his brother, and we can tell that behind Andrew's steely exterior. He and his wife, Olivia, the always lovely Ally Maki, have a great life, and they seem relatively happy. Still, they both suffer from a severe case of thinking they know better than everyone else.
Oh, and did we mention Emma and Olivia are sisters with a complicated relationship that rivals their male counterparts? The sisters are a bit more open with their issues and have a much healthier communication style, but there's still a lot of baggage to unload between them.
The awkward weekend wouldn't be complete without a cartoon-like villain who shows up in the form of Mark (Craig Low), Andrew's work buddy, and that guy you meet at the dinner party who tells the worst jokes and talks just a tad bit too loud.
With nearly all of the action confined to one location and those five central characters, the film wouldn't work without a cast that fits together. And there's chemistry and then some amongst the group.
At its core, it's a story about the ever-complicated relationship between siblings, as you grow up and sometimes apart from one another. Your very first friend can suddenly turn into someone you don't recognize as your paths lead you in different directions.
But at the end of the day family is family. No matter the disfunction, the disappointment, and the misunderstanding, sometimes all it takes is an impromptu weekend gathering to give your life and choices a little perspective.
Andrew and Olivia couldn't be more opposite Sammy and Emma, and while it can be a bit on the nose just how alike each couple is, it works well in the script's context, which is full of laughs and warm moments as well.
Directed by Joe Angelo Menconi, who co-wrote the script with Zac Krause, this is a film made for adults.
There's a lower-level-raunch feeling to it at times, which gives off some Old School vibes, especially during its climax, but it never ventures into complete Porky's style shenanigans.
There's adult content spread throughout, but it's never too much.
And there's a pretty passionate debate about a particular 2000's era film starring Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes that honestly deserves that kind of thoughtful discussion.
By the time the credits roll, you’ll be very glad you gave 5 Years Apart a chance.
You'll be walking away with a smile, a greater appreciation for the people in your life, and serious questions about the White Sox and Cubs rivalry, which all in all is a pretty positive movie-going experience.
5 Years Apart is available on Video On Demand now.
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.