Dysfunctional Friends is a movie about a group of friends who went to college together coming back together years later after the death of a mutual friend. They are forced to stay in a house together for five days or they will not receive the inheritance their friend willed them. The movie opens with two African American women talking to each other. In the bottom left of the screen you see New York New York is where the scene is taking place. The mood is intense as one
of the woman dramatically talks about love and lust for the other woman. She asks the other woman, Samantha, what she wants her to do about it. Samantha tells the first woman that she wants her to let it go and feel love. Then Samantha tears the jacket from her partners body and passionately kisses her. Now jacket-less woman recoils in disgust. "I felt tongue." She says as she wipes her mouth.
It is then that the director (Essence Atkins) yells "Cut!" It becomes clear that the two women are actors acting out a scene. Samantha is upset because the woman who we now know as Trenyce (Persia White) stopped the shot. The director asks why Trenyce was unable to finish the shot. She says her contract specifically says "not tongue." She also says that she will quit if the director does not “handle” the situation. Samantha tells Trenyce that no one wants her that way and that she really isn't "all that". The director comes over and tries to explain to Trenyce that this movie is likely her last shot at stardom.
Trenyce primps while the director reminds her that she was fired from her last job; that she is a professional actress who should be able to handle everything that the business entails. Trenyces' complaints upset Samantha who tells her again that she is not so much as she thinks she is. The director tells Samantha to calm down and get some coffee.
The director tells Trenyce to get herself together and explains her motivation. Trenyce
seems disinterested and continues primping. The director sets the scene to be redone and
Trenyce receives a bottle of water which she complains about. Before receiving a call. She
asks if it is her therapist or her psychic and after apparently receiving shocking news she
The credits roll.
The next scene is of a photo shoot that apparently isn't working. The subject is a handsome young African American man, Stylz(Christian Keyes) clad only in tight fitting shorts. He is unsuccessfully but eagerly
trying to please a female photographer. After a while she tells him that some of his poses are
overly erotic and he needs to dial it back because the shoot is for the Sunday paper. The
model tries to pitch some of his ideas but the photographer tells him that that is why he is not paid
to think. She semi-smacks him and tells him to snap out of it before returning to her position to
take more pictures.
The next scene is of Lisa( Stay Dash), dressed in a two piece tweed skirt suit. She is walking across a
road as she receives a call in Miami Florida, as is written at the bottom left of the screen. Her
jubilants quickly disappears and she stops in hear tracks clearly having received bad news. She drops her purse and the scene switches over to an expensive looking house and you hear a mans voice in San Diego California. A handsome bald black man reads
a text.(Aaron(Datari Turner) The scene switches again to Chatsworth,California, "Porn Valley" as specified on the screen, to a house on the hill. You hear two people loudly and dramatically having sex. Another
black man(Gary(Jason Weaver) sitting in a dim room reads a text while two people continue to have loud sex. He is
clearly upset. Someone addresses him from the side and he yells cut.
Stylz receives a call on the modeling set and is upset. The scene switches to Brett(Wesley Jonathan) and his wife, Alex(Tatyana Ali) ,in their Monterey California home. Alex just got off the phone with Brett's secretary,Hannah(Vanessa Simons). She is upset and tells Brett he needs to tell that little young secretary to stop calling the house every 15 minutes. She does not trust Alex this sparks an arugment. Brett pleads for sympathy as his friend just passed away. Brett tells his wife he is going to the funeral and convinces her to stay at home and focus on work so he can mourne and think alone on the trip up there.
The next scene is of Brett picking up Hannah.
Lisa(Stacy Dash) and Jackson(Terrell Owen) are aruging in the bathroom of their home talking about how the group that Dennis brought together grew apart. They then start aruging about an old flame Lisa had.
Aaron is throwing darts at the picture of Jackson while talking to someone on the phone.
Everyone meets at the church for an emotional dramatic ceremony. It seems each character is well off or otherwise successful in their own ways. They are a group of models, actresses, and business people. During the funeral you catch wind of some of the old wounds and rivalries. Aaron and Lisa used to date. Trenyce and Dennis(Keith Robinson) were together. Ebony(Reagan Gomez Preston) and Trenyce have issues and Jamal(Hosea Chanchez) and Storm(Stacy Keibler) have issues too.
When the funeral rolls around it is clear that Dennis had a lot of friends but he is the
strongest link between the main characters. The main characters are instructed to stay after the funeral to hear the reading of Dennis' will. Everyone is glad to hear that they are in the will. However, when Ms. Stevens (Meagan Good) plays the recording of Dennis addressing his friends and explaining that no will will receive any money if they do not adhere to the terms of the will. The
catch is that the group has to stay in Dennis' house for 5 days to catch up and hang out. If one of them dies that person will not receive anything and if any one person leaves no one receives a dime. This leads to some controversy between the characters.
After the funeral the characters talk. Ebony and Trenyce find they do not like each other. The characters solidify their roles in the movie:Ebony is the bitch; Trenyce the drama queen; Storm the gold digger; Lisa the square; her husband is Jackson is a bit of a jerk,; Jamal the washed up male diva ;Aaron is the ex-wrong doer looking for redemption and Lisa's' love; Brett seems to be the joker who brings his mistress to the funeral,Hannah is Bretts mistress but she is sweet; Stylz
seems to be the strong silent type and is suspected of being gay; Gary is a pornographer who is clearly the comic relief and he is use to being seen as sleazy. He also apparently destroyed Jamals' career with a overly erotic music video. Jamal is still mad. It is revealed the college everyone went to was Howard.
After the funeral presumably at Denis' house the group is talking. Gary, who is misunderstood because of his profession, invites everyone to a party, in honor of Dennis. Jamal becomes upset because he feels Gary is faking grief. Gary and Jamal are the first to almost come to blows. Aaron breaks up the fight.He tells them to make the best of it.
Stylz suggests everyone catch up by telling what they have been doing over the years. Trenyce goes first. She regrets not staying in touch with Dennis. She admits her career is not going the way she wanted it to. She says Dennis was good to her and she gets choked up with emotion. Brett goes next. He orchestrates a toast. Brett is an executive at a top firm and he chronicles his successes, nice house and job. Ebony mentions his secretary and that he did not mention his wife as a success. As an after thought he mentions his wife. Storm goes next. She is interrupted from her phone. She give a vague description of her life. Ebony interjects that she is a gold digger. She had Jackson's' attention. Gary goes next. He is
getting ready to finalize a deal for his first big movie. All he needs is A-list talent. Ebony berates him and puts him down. Jamal goes next and plugs his album. After him Stacy Dash goes. She is in her last year in law school. Dash says her and Jackson are engaged to be married. Jackson
interrupts saying Lisa will not need to work since he has a new contract that will move them to Toronto in the next couple of weeks. Aaron him that no one was talking to him and that he is not a close friend in the group. Lisa continues talking. She has Aaron's attention. Lisa is off put. It is clear
Jackson is an outsider as Aaron interjects. Aaron goes next. He is focusing on his personal life. He is a sports writer. He goes too far into detail saying he will knock out any competition to get what he wants, Lisa, in his personal life. Ebony is volunteered to go next. She is reluctant
but is coaxed into sharing. She owns two salons,she has a beautiful family. She is receiving alimony, child support, and she apparently has a sugar daddy. She and Brett have it out. Brett calls her ghetto and she calls him a sell out. She threatens to leave but instead takes a whole bottle of alcohol and presumably goes to her room.
Trenyce and Gary talk. He asks her to read a script because he wants her to star in his movie. She seems disinterested but she eventually decides to give it a try until she learns who the director is, Gary. He apparently wrote it and is going to direct it but keeps that to himself as long as
possible.Brett and Aaron were talking on the patio when Lisa shows up. Brett excuses himself leaving Lisa and Aaron to talk. They reminisce over a photo album. They start to talk about how they used to be when they were together. It is made clear that Aaron broke up with Lisa. He tells her he was wrong but that upsets her and they kiss. Lisa stops him and explains to him why she wont give him a second chance. He asks if she is happy but it is clear that she is lying when she says yes.
Brett and Jamal are in the kitchen eating breakfast. Aaron pitches something to Jamal who refuses to admit he is no longer the hot thing. Brett suggests Jamal do endorsements. Ebony comes in the kitchen and puts her phone down on the table stopping the conversation dead. You notice Brett's phone looks exactly like Ebony's phone. Hannah then comes in and starts talking business to Brett. Ebony and Jamal have a hateful conversation. Aaron and Jamal leave to have a conversation but he takes the wrong phone. Ebony sees a text from Brett's wife. Jamal doesn't go for the pitch Brett is going for. Ebony gives Brett back his phone without telling him about the text that says his wife is going to book a flight to Dennis' house after her
The next scene is of Jackson and having a hostile conversation in the gym. The conversation is about Lisa and the past and the present. It is revealed that Lisa is no longer a virgin, as she was in college. The guys try and make each other feel like crap. Aaron tells Jackson he does not love Lisa. The T.v. which was on shows Jackson is being traded, he is a football player, revealing that he is not the going to Toronto as
he said but he is going to Milwaukee.
It is night time and the scene opens in a room. Storm and Jamal, who apparently had a relationship, have a conversation about starting another relationship when Jackson becomes successful again. Storm does not go for it. Everyone goes into the living room because Aaron
found a tape. It is the video tape of the music video that ruined Jamal's career. Gary and Jamal talk about the video. Jamal is upset but Gary is proud of the video. Their conversation becomes an argument. Everyone laughs at the video. The next scene is of Stylz talking to himself about his career in a mirror. It is clear Stylz is not extremely smart. Ebony catches him creating an awkward moment. Stylz is left looking in the mirror at himself.
It had been revealed that Ebony thinks he is gay.
Jackson is going for a run. He meets storm on the path. They have a conversation. They talk about old times. Apparently they had a fling at one point. He tells her to tie her shoes and he ogles her before finishing his run. Trenyce is on the phone talking about a movie.
She is clearly trying to get her job back from the movie she was working on in the beginning. Trenyce is hung up on. Gary is comically practicing lines from his script. After finishing his Tai Chi, Stylz starts talking to Gary about how difficult it is to be 30. Stylz reveals that he is an underwear model to Gary and that he has not done as many things as he has been telling them he was doing. Stylz reveals that he is not gay as the group thinks he is. Gary tells him that he would not be saying that stuff if Dennis was there because Dennis could put everything is prospective. Gary is encouraged by Stylz and Trenyce over hears the conversation. They talk about Dennis' money being a well needed thing in their lives.
It is evening time and Lisa and Jackson are talking. She wants to keep renting an apartment. Jackson wants a house. He reveals that he got traded to Milwaukee instead of Toronto. Their argument ends. Ebony is on the phone with someone telling the person she loves him. She hangs up and is upset. Lisa walks in on her crying. It is clear Ebony is jealous of Lisa and Jamal's exclusivity. Apparently she was on the phone with a married man telling him she loved him. She then excuses herself to go to bed. Lisa is left to think alone.
The next scene opens with Trenyce in bed practicing her acting. She finds Gary's script hidden under her pillow and throws it away. Ebony goes to Trenyce's room and sits on her bed to talk. Ebony and Trenyce talk about Ebony's divorce. It is revealed that it was Ebony's ex on the phone
but you do not hear the reason for the divorce.
Storm and Jackson meet again on the running path. She has a cramp that Jackson massages and they kiss. But she stops him. Across the street Brett and Hannah are talking about business proposals. Jackson and Storm decide that it isn't good to be kissing but they do it again anyway. At the same time Hannah and Brett kiss. Ebony steps off the stoop of Dennis' house and sees it all. Just then Brett and Jackson meet eyes.
It is evening time and Lisa, Trenyce, Storm, and Stylz are unpacking food in the kitchen. Stylz is complaining about the health foods that Lisa forgot to buy for him. Goodie goodie Lisa gives love advice to Storm.
The next scene is of Brett and Aaron talking about his love or lust for Lisa. Lisa and Trenyce are talking in another room. It is revealed that Lisa does not know if she wants to get married to Jackson because of some of the things he has been saying. She also reveals the reason why Aaron
left her, she would not have sex with him. Ebony then joins the conversation. Storm is also at the table. Aaron and Brett talk about Dennis and how he seemed to know something they did not know. It is revealed that Trenyce is deeper than she seems. She and Dennis had a relationship and she
regrets leaving him. Aaron and Brett continue talking ,in the separate room they are in, about Dennis but Stylz joins the conversation and they toast
again. It is revealed that Aaron had sex with Ebony. Stylz wants to know if it is good. Aaron tells the story and he is poked fun at by the other two men. Stylz is sworn to secrecy.
Lisa is allowing Ebony to do her hair when Stylz joins them. Ebony pokes fun at him asking when he is going to come out of the closet. He pokes fun back. Ebony leaves the room to get more moisturizer. Stylz tells Lisa "She ain't to be trusted." Lisa asks why.
The next scene is of Jamal talking to a person called Rodney about his album. Rodney tell him he needs more time and the record that ruined his career is still a hindrance, but a few labels are interested in picking up the new album. Jamal is excited. Rodney gives Jamal advice before ending the conversation.
The next scene is of Brett and Jackson trying to side step each other in the hall. They have an awkward moment. The next scene is of Trenyce
reading Gary's script and making a phone call. The scene switches again to Jamal lifting weights and Stylz making a smoothie in a robe and mud mask. Then it is night time.
Everyone had sat down to dinner. It is quiet and awkward. Jamal breaks the silence. Ebony says the chicken is good. She asks how Brett's meat is. She asks about the secretary, making jokes about the secretary character. Brett jabs her back with the the divorce she had. Aaron compliments Lisa
on her cooking. Jackson reminds Aaron that Lisa is his woman. Ebony reveals that Jackson and Storm "know" each other, to Lisa's dismay. Storm is choked up. Jackson tries to minimize the situation. Upset, Lisa brings up Aaron and Ebony's history. Apparently she heard it from Brett. Brett is
dismayed because he did not say anything. It was Stylz. Lisa is mad because Ebony had sex with Aaron when Lisa and Aaron were together. Aaron tried to explain it away. Lisa is super upset. Jackson is upset because Lisa is upset over a fling that happened years ago. Lisa tells him to shut up and keep screwing Storm. Storm is surprised. Aaron almost attacked Stylz when Trenyce interrupts. She tells them to calm down
because they are suppose to be there to celebrate Dennis' life not tear each other apart. Gary brings up the fact that Trenyce is phony because she broke up with Dennis. He expresses his emotions about her refusing to read his script telling her she is a hypocrite. Ebony agrees saying that Trenyce did not return any of her calls and it was Trenyce's fault that Dennis was jumping out of airplanes in the first place. Upset, Trenyce reveals that Ebony was comfortable enough to tell her that Ebonys' husband left her for a man. The table is awed. Overwhelmed Ebony starts to over-boil. She tells Stylz to come out of the closet and tells everyone she cannot stand any of them. Lisa is still upset because Aaron and Ebony screwed. Ebony says she was drunk and tells Lisa to get over it. Ebony says she doesn't remember the sex anyway.She says everyone has secrets though she does not reveal all the ones she knows.At that point Hannah shows up cheery as always.Jamal leaves the table for a call. Brett's wife
walks in at that moment. Clearly Brett did not get the message that she was coming. Alex tries to attack Hannah. While the commotion is going on Jamal receives bad news. The next scene is of Lisa and Jackson having a fight in their room. Lisa is upset because Jackson did not tell her about him and Storm having a "thing" at one point. Jackson says he didn't think it mattered because it was so long ago. Lisa tells him she cannot marry him and orders him to leave which he does. She is left alone crying.
Alex and Brett are having a fight over Hannah. Brett says he thought about cheating but did not. Alex says she wants a divorce.
The next couple scenes are a slow montage of everyone brooding on their own issues. The montage ends on Dennis' photo.
The next scene: It is daytime. Everyone but Jackson, Alex, and Hannah are gathered in a living space. The custodian of Dennis' will is addressing a gloomy group. She plays another recording of Dennis. Dennis congratulates them on their success before dividing out his will. Stylz, the first, receives 250,000. Storm receives advice to not allow anyone to define who she is, as well as $250,000 dollars, and the encouragement to write her tell all book. Jamal receives advice to do more with his life and maybe start a record company along with $250,000. To end the section for Jamal Dennis says it was the song not the video. A round of I told you so's are passed on. Ebony is encouraged to start a gossip column and she receives $350,000, $150000 to pay off her school loans. Brett is well off and so Dennis says he will leave $250000 in his and his wife's' name to the charity of their choice. Aaron receives $250000 to start his sports website and is encouraged to settle down. Gary receives $1,000,000 to make a good movie as long as there is no nudity. Lisa is encouraged to find the right man and she receive $250000. Trenyce is encouraged to achieve her dreams and Dennis reveals that he loved her with all his heart, and he was her biggest fan, and he will always love her. He gives her 2 million. That concludes the presentation.
Everyone files out of the mansion. Gary and Jamal mend their relationship. Hannah asks Gary for a ride and he obliges offering her a job in the process. Stylz seems to be quitting his modeling job. Ebony apologizes to Lisa and they solidify their friendship. Brett and his wife will work it out. Aaron and Lisa have a talk . He will always love her and wants forgivness for hte past. They kiss but she wants to move forward with Jackson. He tells Lisa he loves her but she gets in the car with Trenyce and drives off.
The movie ends with Dennis talking about the past being the past. He accepted the present even without his old friends. Life is about discovery he says. He realizes that change is not such a bad thing. When he is done you see flowers and his ashes being scattered in the ocean.
Brett became the VP of his company after a big success was orchestrated by him. Jamal gained popularity again after doing an endorsement with Brett. Gary made his movie and it was successful. Trenyce was the star of said movie and she won an award for her performance. Stylz became a successful model. Storm wrote her book and got back with Jamal. Ebony found love in an investment banker and they are getting married on Dennis' dime. The last scene is of Lisa and Aaron talking at his door. "It is cold in Milwaukee" She says.
Dennis reveals that he hopes they will return every year to receive the rest of their inheritance.
Best part of story, including ending:
The story is a very good concept with a ton of potential but I dislike the story because a lot of the potential was not used. For example, Ebony knows more secrets than she tells. Since this movie is about drama it seems to have miss the mark in creating drama many times such as the example above. I also dislike the movie because the plot is shallow in development but deep in poor acting from Terrell Owens. For example you only see pictures of Dennis but no flash backs to fill some of the dead space in the movie. There are a lot of times when the movie gets really foggy on details like when Storm is asked she has done with her life. She only gives vague descriptions. She could have been talking about anybody life. She honestly feels like a tacked on character at the last minute which I also dislike. Again, the concept of the movie, friends forced to stay in a house together and get along, is a good idea and I like that but the idea was poorly executed.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene of the movie is dinner scene. Everyone had sat down to dinner on the last day before they received their money. You can feel the tension and awkwardness while watching. Then, as you expected, all manner of issues break loose.
Opinion about the main character:
The main character that popped out to me was Trenyce. The thing I dislike about her the most was her overly self important, dramatic personality.