All My Friends Hate Me Review: The Perfect Depiction of Social Anxiety

Andrew Gaynord’s feature film debut is a dark and delicious satire that makes for an excruciating watch, in all the best ways.



Andrew Gaynord’s feature film debut is a dark and delicious satire that makes for an excruciating watch, in all the best ways.

Part of being human is having to deal with complex emotions, such as anxiety, guilt and confusion. We also tend to overthink and we’re partial to being paranoid every now and then. It’s just part of the human experience on this little ball of carbon dioxide. 

Andrew Gaynord’s wonderful All My Friends Hate Me is a terrifying and real watching experience. I do not like this film, but I also love it. It’s very well made and I found it painfully relatable as someone who often over-analyses social situations and suffers from anxiety. 

Played by Tom Stourton, Pete arrives at his friend’s lavish house for a weekend of birthday celebrations. However, as the weekend goes on, Pete begins to suspect his friends don’t particularly like him and he’s not welcome at his own birthday. 

all my friends hate me tom

All My Friends Hate Me is part comedy, part horror. The horror here isn’t supernatural; there are no monsters or terrifying visions of doom. It’s just the inescapable sense of anxiety that Pete can’t shake, no matter what he does. The film unfolds like one of those days we’ve all had, where everything that could go wrong, does go wrong, in the most delirious way possible and it makes us suspect the universe is somehow against us.

The comedy element of the film comes mostly from the very heightened performances. Dustin Demri-Burns plays Harry, a new member of the somewhat estranged friend group and Pete, as well as the audience, finds him insufferable. It’s a genuinely great performance, but one that purposely leans on Harry being annoying and it’s difficult to find the desire to keep watching the film with characters this irritating. Graham Dickson is particularly hilarious as posh boy Archie, but most of the small cast are forced to do surface-level characterisations of their characters. 

While All My Friends Hate Me is very relatable, it also comes very close to alienating its audience. Pete’s friends are all middle class, posh and rather full of themselves. Pete isn’t any better either; he’s obsessed with telling everyone he worked at a refugee camp as if this automatically makes him a better person than everyone else in the room. 

It’s this almost caricature-like treatment of characters that holds the film back from ascending to greatness. It’s hard to care about these characters and towards the end, your patience with them starts wearing thin. Unlike Uncut Gems, another cinematic anxiety attack happening on screen, All My Friends Hate Me seems to still believe these characters are at least funny enough to be rooting for them. 

all my friends hate me

Stourton and Tom Palmer, who co-wrote the script, do manage to take the piss out of millenials, but never quite settles on a tone, constantly flipping between the horrific and absurd. The balance is frequently delicious and interesting, but the ending somehow feels rushed still. 

All My Friends Hate Me is still highly enjoyable, although the word ‘enjoyable’ feels like the wrong word to describe it. Perhaps the film is more impressive and immersive than it is enjoyable, but that’s by no means a criticism. Gaynord asserts himself as a fascinating new voice in British cinema. 

All My Friends Hate Me is in cinemas June 10.

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