Press "Enter" to skip to content

Review: The Drop (2023)

The Drop (2023)

Directed by: Sarah Adina Smith

Premise: Mani and Lex (Jermaine Fowler and Anna Konkle) are a married couple trying to conceive their first child. While at a destination wedding, Lex accidentally drops an infant, sending their relationship with their friends and each other into a crisis.

What Works: The Drop is a cringe comedy. Movies like this are built on social awkwardness brought on by embarrassment or characters who are unaware of their own terribleness. The filmmakers do this quite well especially in the way that they manage the characters’ cringe-worthiness. The story is kicked off when Lex accidentally drops a baby. This puts her on the outs with the wedding party and her remorse and embarrassment make her sympathetic. Lex and Mani try to recover their social standing with their friend group but gradually realize that these people are terrible and not worth their embarrassment. This is where a lot of the humor comes in and the cast commit to their parts. The supporting players don’t try to make themselves likable nor do they wink at the camera. The couple’s social ostracism is first an obstacle in their marriage but it eventually brings them together. The Drop is fundamentally a love story of two people disconnecting and reconnecting and the movie works in part because Jermaine Fowler and Anna Konkle play a likable couple. Fowler and Konkle’s characters are people we want to see live happily ever after. Lex’s mishap with the baby throws a wrench into their idealized notions of marriage and parenthood. Those ideas unify the movie. The couples around them are married with kids and project perfection but it gradually becomes clear that these people have serious issues. Domestic happiness is achieved by letting go of pipedreams of perfection and accepting the messiness of life.

What Doesn’t: Cringe comedy has a very particular appeal. The supporting characters are all terrible people and that is the joke. Viewers who enjoy this sort of humor will get it and probably enjoy it but viewers who aren’t willing to go with it will probably find The Drop insufferable. The film forces some of the drama between the couple. As in most love stories, Mani and Lex separate for a while but their mini-breakup is not credible. The trajectory of Mani’s character is lacking. After the plot reaches its crisis point, Mani goes off by himself and is taken in for an evening by a local family who don’t speak English. Neither the character nor the story gets much out of this side quest. It doesn’t lead to a revelation on Mani’s part although the genuine love found in this stranger’s home does make a nice counterpoint to the passive aggression of his friends.

Disc extras: Available on Hulu.

Bottom Line: The Drop is a well-executed cringe comedy. The movie’s appeal may be narrow but the filmmakers do a very good job managing the anxiety and using it to advance plot and character while having some laughs. 

Episode: #962 (August 27, 2023)