Bert and Arnie’s Guide to Friendship Rewards Those Who Can Laugh and Wink at the Same Time


In Bert and Arnie’s Guide to Friendship, the obnoxious behavior of the leads is heartily indulged, gently critiqued, and eventually subjected to a rather perfunctory alteration. Enjoyment of Jeff Kaplan’s film will vary given your capacity to simultaneously laugh and wink at the hijinks of two of the least palatable characters to share screen time in recent years. While scuzzy finance guy Arnie (Stephen Schneider) fucks his way across New York, successful novelist Bert (Matt Oberg) exhibits a writerly ego gone amok, refusing to teach his students any books but his own. The two come together when Arnie screws Bert’s wife, leading to a divorce for the writer and a tenuous, mutually selfish friendship between the two men. That bond is tested when both fall for the same woman, Sabrina (Anna Chlumsky), who has the potential to flip the script on our boys, as she gently consigns Arnie to the realm of strict sex object and sees Bert as purely friendship material. Unfortunately, Arnie is granted a dramatically strained opportunity to achieve the usual redemption and win the girl, while Bert’s latest romantic entanglement serves only to “prove” that all feminists really want is a good dicking.