I think I’m a sucker for warm-hearted high school flicks about kids learning how to be friends. Either that or maybe Hannah Marks is just a very good writer. Banana Split does many things well, but what it does best is create characters out of flesh and blood people; if you’re in high school now, you probably know teenagers like the ones Marks has devised with her co-writer, Joey Powers*, or you might be one yourself. That familiarity helps, about as much as Marks’ relationship with her co-star, Liana Liberato, helps.
This is a roundabout way of saying that Banana Split rings very true and reads as very real, but you should just read my review over at Paste Magazine to get the full picture.
*I feel like Banana Split and contemporary movies of its sort reflect a massive change in how teenagers comport themselves. It’s true that teen / high school fare hasn’t abandoned bullies entirely – some of Sex Education‘s most compelling characters are bullies! – but I get the sense that movies and television about teenagers generally convey the notion that teenagers have evolved to become less shitty in the late 2010s and beyond.