ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"Banana Split" Movie Review

Updated on March 29, 2020
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life, he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Banana Split
Banana Split | Source

Back in 2006, 10-year-old Liana Liberato and her 13-year-old best friend Hannah Marks were profiled in The New York Times Magazine article “Hollywood Elementary” about pre-teens struggling to make it in show business. Ten years later, each with a solid resume under their belt, Marks cast Liberato in her directorial debut, the short film Two Dollar Bill. Fast-forward another four years, and the long-time besties are together again in Banana Split, which, if the powers of reason and common sense have any say, will catapult both women into the Hollywood stratosphere.

Co-written by Marks and Joey Power and directed by long-time cinematographer Benjamin Kasulke, the film has already won Best Film at the 2019 Vail Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize at the Independent Film Festival of Boston, and for good reason. In the vein of gems like 2010’s Easy A, 2016’s Edge of Seventeen, and last year’s Booksmart, it’s a sharp and intelligent teen flick that avoids the age-old tropes that have dominated the genre, proving yet again that the abandonment of cookie-cutter plots and stock characters can result in something far more entertaining and memorable.

Marks is April, a down-to-earth high-schooler who one day wakes up to find that her friend-who’s-a-boy is now something more. She and Nick (Dylan Sprouse) go out for the better part of two years (which is given a brilliant thirty-second montage treatment) before then breaking up on graduation day—due in no small part to the fact that she’s heading to BU, and he’s off to UCSD.

He then starts seeing Clara (Liberato), a recent transplant who looks like a picture-perfect cross between Taylor Swift and Debby Ryan. Any feelings of jealousy on April’s part, though, are quickly jettisoned when the two bond over shots, rap music, and an porcelain-side episode at a house party. They agree to a few common-sense rules (“Don’t talk about Nick” and “Don’t tell Nick” chief among them), as their friendship blossoms over the course of the summer.

A must-see for anyone (particularly women) who miss their sheltered-in-place besties, Banana Split is quintessential Facebook Watch Party material, forgoing standard love triangle garbage and instead offering a hard-R, Bechdel-approved bit of inventiveness that is as intelligent as it is hilarious (and it’s both). Marks and Liberato, both a decade past their high school years, can still pull off teen angst, and the chemistry resulting from their almost fifteen-year friendship elevates the film even further.

Though COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the release of Hollywood films (in a Coronavirus-free world, we would have watched A Quiet Place Part II last weekend and the live-action Mulan remake this weekend), it’s opened the door to a world of lower-budget, outside-the-mainstream films that would have gone largely unnoticed otherwise. The excellent Banana Split is now near the top of that list, and even if you didn’t have anything to do otherwise, it’s still well-worth its economical 90 minutes. This is no shrug-worthy, eh-what-the-heck way of passing time until movie theaters reopen. Banana Split is a refreshing, funny, and touching escape from current events that reminds you of everything that’s great about movies.


4.5/5 stars

'Banana Split' Movie Review


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)