(Written by Allison Brown)
Director Sarah Adina Smith has another hit on her hands with The Drop. The primarily improvised film follows a group of friends with one pair, Lex (Anna Konkle) and Mani (Jermaine Fowler), at the center as they travel to their friend Mia’s (Aparna Nancherla) destination wedding. The Drop is exactly what I hoped it would be as one of my most anticipated films at this year’s iteration of Tribeca, perfectly combining the comedic stylings of its all-star cast, particularly Anna Konkle (PEN15) and Jillian Bell.
The story opens with Lex and Mani attempting to make a baby, and they seem to dream of being parents. Upon exiting the airport in Mexico, the lesbian couple to be married, Mia and Peggy (Jennifer Lafleur), pass off their child to Mani, who feels at home in his aspirational role as a hopeful parent. Once the infant is handed off to Lex, she claims she is attacked by a bee, loses grasp of the baby, and she accidentally drops her to the ground; everyone pauses in panic. Thankfully, the little girl is alright, but she must wear a pink helmet for the next three months. I was shocked to learn at the Q&A that one of her mothers in the film, Peggy, is also her mother in real life!
My favorite scene is when Lex reunites with the injured tot. As she goes to hold her for the first time again and earn her trust, she sweetly apologizes, and asks to give her a kiss; she instead burps aggressively in the baby’s face. I could not stop myself from laughing for several minutes after the film had moved on.
Lex oozes with Anna Konkle’s singular comedic flair, as she effectively plays an adult version of Anna from PEN15. Jermaine Fowler is an especially great surprise in his layered role as Mani, conveying the internal struggle of being a supportive husband with the deeper significance of his partner’s actions. The supporting cast is all equally entertaining and hold their own. Horny teenaged boy Levi (Elisha Henig) was a standout as well; he watches porn on the airplane to the wedding with his sound turned on, livestreams to an audience where he discusses sexual experiences, and orgasms at the rehearsal dinner while recounting a memory where Lex wiped a bowl of warm macaroni and cheese off his lap. I could easily see the film finding a home on a streamer like Hulu.
The Drop kept the audience cringing in laughter when it premiered at Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, June 11th.