Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Friends has been out for a few years now though most movie fans have never heard of the micro-budgeted film. Don’t worry, I hadn’t either. But I was pointed in the direction of the film and thought to check it out. I’m glad I did because I had a great time watching it.  The flick was shot on a shoestring budget and featured local actors or friends of director Rhonda Parker.  It’s Parker’s first full length film and there is certainly a bunch of charm to this indy feature.

The film starts off with this guy Kyle (Adam S. Dixon) in a suit showing up at a house where two girls are hanging out.  He asks his friend Della (Amelia Favata) and her friend Gwen (Erin Stamp) to go see his car.  They go off to a field where Kyle shows off his car.  The car is completely wrecked.  We are told that Kyle was drunk and hit a telephone pole.  Why the car is in the middle of a field with no telephone pole in sight I’m not too sure.  I’m not here to nitpick – I’m here to enjoy a film.

This first couple minutes puzzled me early on and then much later.  What puzzled me early on is that there seemed to be no main character for the first 10 to 15 minutes.  This guy Kyle shows up.  We meet Della and Gwen.  Then all three are hanging out.  Gwen is attracted to Kyle so they become a couple.  So is the film about all three of them or is there a central character?  Eventually it is revealed that Della is our main character and I couldn’t be more happy about that.  I’ll get into why in a moment.

It seems that this whole gang is just a bunch of broke kids.  If they have jobs they don’t make much money.  Della is a counselor at some local camp so I’m sure she’s not rolling in the cash.  This seems like a pretty small town with not much to do.  They are all over 21 but still living home with their parents.

So do they just go out and get wasted every night?  No – this isn’t that type of film.  These young adults seem to enjoy hanging at the coffee shop, especially on poetry night.  They’ll go out drinking once in awhile but mostly it seems like they are taking full advantage of the summer.  How?  They just like to be outside and hang out.  They’ll pair up and go for walks here, there, and everywhere.  Being a bit older now I almost seemed to forget that this is exactly what I used to do in my youth.  Drive to Washington Crossing Park, hang out at Stargazer’s Field, or go to some park.  What else is there to do when you are broke?

Gwen and Kyle starting dating and everything seems fine.  The characters suddenly start to expand as we meet Della and Gwen’s other best friend Allison.  When another guy hits on Gwen suddenly she’s tired of Kyle and wants to see other people.  That’s fine because Kyle starts going out with Allison.  The gang meets this guy named Jeff – who I basically just called Shirt Guy because he wore some pretty awesome and funky shirts in this film.  Della and Jeff seem to hit it off but then suddenly he’s hooking up with Gwen.

Yup.  All of these people have nothing better to do then hook up with each other.  And why not?  Once again, hanging out and hooking up is certainly better than sitting around the house watching repeats of Scrubs.  Well…at least the later seasons of Scrubs.

Most of the characters seemed pretty vapid except for Della.  Della has a pretty good head on her shoulders.  She’s sarcastic and a bit of a tomboy.  I thought she was super cute and I had no clue why every guy in the film wasn’t consistently hitting on Della.  It’s not like she couldn’t attract guys.  But when a guy tries to go in for a kiss and Della denies him ONCE, he is suddenly off to hook up with another one of Della’s friends.  Do these guys not believe in the chase?  Cause I would have chased Della up and down the block.

While the film has a bunch of great actors you could tell that this was probably their first chance to act in a full length feature.  The acting isn’t the strongest throughout the film but I think that helps add to the film’s charm.  Amelia Favata certainly is the strongest actor of the entire cast so once the film is able to shift to her I feel it really helped move the plot along.

Amelia’s Della is someone that I certainly would want to date so I was pretty much yelling at the TV every time some idiot blew her off or wasn’t interested in her.  I really loved watching Favata up on the screen so I certainly hope she has continued to act since this picture.  You feel her pain hanging out with a bunch of idiot guys who are just complete hound dogs, her pretty shitty home life with a mom who is only really interested in being drunk and banging scumbags, and some girlfriends who seem to be obsessed with one guy only to completely obsess over another guy ten minutes later.  As Della is more grounded she tries not to get involved in the bullshit, though that doesn’t always work for her.  She is relatable and adorable,  exactly what you want for your lead in a romantic comedy.

One of the things that I felt really helped this film was a massive amount of locations.  I’m sure that Parker filmed in a small town where everyone knew everyone.  I’m sure that came in handy because I lost count of how many different locations this film shot at.  It wasn’t just like these characters are always hanging around the same house.  Obviously the producers had their work cut out for them by snagging all of these great shootintg locations.  It helps the film, especially in feeling that these 20-somethings really don’t have much around or to do.

The other huge standout is the music in the film.  The songs came from the NY based folk group The Lonely Ones and right as the movie starts we are introduced not only to the characters but The Lonely Ones’ amazing music.  I’m glad that the entire film showcased their songs which I really enjoyed.  Pretty certain I’ll have to seek more of their music out.

I had mentioned earlier that the beginning scenes puzzled me because I couldn’t figure out if we had a true lead in the film.  These early scenes puzzled me later because as the film reaches its climax you really feel how small this town is.  Characters run into each other a lot.  Sure you can say that is just scripting but, as the viewer now has a really good sense of the town, you just feel how small and tight-knit the community is.

So what is puzzling?  It is puzzling that in this small town that some of these characters are meeting for the first time.  They are all around the same age and all live with their parents.  So how do they all not know each other?  Della meets Kyle at a party and Kyle reveals some of his messed up family history so I’m thinking that maybe Kyle didn’t grow up in the town.  Maybe he moved there later?  Maybe that’s why Della meets him for the first time at a local party and perhaps why Gwen doesn’t know who Kyle is when they first meet.  The script really doesn’t explain it.  I grew up in a suburb of a city and while my high school wasn’t huge it certainly wasn’t small.  So there might not be people that I knew but for the most part I knew a crapload of people.  I certainly would think growing up in a small town in New York you’d really know the people around your town.  In the end this was just puzzling, but didn’t take away from the film overall.

There is nothing more amazing in the world then writing a script, getting friends , family, and fellow filmmakers together, gathering $2,000, and making a full length indy feature like Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Friends.  It certainly doesn’t have that Hollywood sheen and that’s a great thing.  This film is a little slice of life and is perfect just the way it is.  It really is the type of film I love to support and really wish I had seen this years ago when it was first released.  Better late than never I suppose.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Friends is charming, sweet, and really fun.  The characters are just a tiny bit slutty, but I’m fairly certain that I was sluttier at their age anyway.  Rhonda Parker really accomplished a lot on such a tiny budget and she really was able to put together a very satisfying and quite delightful film.


Where can you find Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Friends?  You can stream and buy digital via Amazon or find it at

Follow us on Twitter:
Follow us on Instagram:
Follow us on Facebook:
Follow us on Vidme:
Follow us on YouTube: