A Mostly Spoiler Free Review of Beside Still Waters, a Film by Chris Lowell

“A movie about drinking and dancing. Laughter and secrets. Sex, drugs, mischief and regret. A movie about friendship.”


For years we’ve been convinced that it was possible to make a movie that was both realistic and good. After all, real life can be entertaining in its own right, so surely a movie based on events that could actually happen could be just as entertaining, right? For just as many years, though, we’ve been disappointed.

Then we saw Beside Still Waters, the directorial debut from Chris Lowell, written by Chris Lowell and his writing partner, Mo Narang. Everything in this film could believably happen pretty much exactly the way it was written, yet we’ve not been this entertained by a movie in a long while. This is probably because, while the end of the film shows the disclaimer that any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental, Beside Still Waters is drawn from the real life events of creator Chris and friends, and it shows. From the lake house they spent most of their teen years in to the drinking games they played all the way down to baring it all for a good skinny dip, this film is near to the life and love of those involved in its creation, making Beside Still Waters not only hilarious but authentic and a clear heartfelt creation.

And its all-star cast doesn’t hurt either. Beside Still Waters stars Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist), Beck Bennett (Saturday Night Live), Brett Dalton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and Reid Scott (Veep), plus a few other big talents (Erin Darke, Jessy Hodges, Britt Lower, and Will Brill).


Beside Still Waters is reminiscent of The Breakfast Club mixed with The Big Chill mixed with something extra that we can’t quite put our finger on. It tells the story of a young romantic (The Blacklist‘s Ryan Eggold) who recently lost his parents in a car accident. None of his friends with whom he was so close to for so long attended the funeral, so when he loses the lake house that he grew up in, he guilts them into visiting for one final weekend and a last hurrah. What ensues is a weekend of drinking games, romance (of pretty much every sort), and rekindled friendships.

Don’t mistake this for a “stupid comedy” movie, though. As hilarious as this film is, it’s equally heartwarming. Beside Still Waters manages to express the one thing most movies forget: you can feel more than one emotion at once. There are moments that are simultaneously laugh out loud funny and gut-wrenching. Funny things still happen in hard times, and Beside Still Waters balances it perfectly. Through every difficult turn and each stupid stunt that’s pulled, you can tell that these are lifelong friends reliving their glory days. There’s a sense of camaraderie that pervades the movie. Even when things get weird or difficult, this group sticks together.

Above all else, this story is about the truest of friendships, the ones that last through all of the ups and downs, the insanity, the love and the heartbreak…and it couldn’t have been done any better. Beside Still Waters is a deeply personal, moving, and hilarious film that, take our word on it, you will enjoy…but you can’t enjoy the film if you can’t see it. Click here to find out more on how you can Kickstart this movie into theaters and why Chris Lowell needs your help.

Have you seen Beside Still Waters yet? We want to know what you thought! Post your mini-reviews in the comments. If we get enough response, we’ll send a link to Chris & the rest of the Beside Still Waters team so they can read your praise! Oh, and we made this post mostly spoiler free so you can share it with your networks without ruining it for anyone. Go ahead and feel free to tweet, share, stumble, tumble, etc. to you heart’s content!

Want to hear more about Beside Still Waters, Veronica Mars, Enlisted, even Firefly or Buffy…from Chris Lowell himself? Well, we interviewed Chris and Mo last weekend, so now you can (click here)!

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