Sundance Film Festival: ‘On The Count Of Three’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

On the Count of Three is the definition of what a “ride or die” friendship is. The opening scene sets the tone for the film, as the title of the film is tied to the discussion of suicide. Val and Kevin are lifelong friends and they have been through everything with each other. Val (Jerrod Carmichael) goes to visit Kevin (Christopher Abbott) in the rehabilitation center and he ends up breaking him out. They are both in a very bad headspace, so they promise to live one last day to their fullest, before they end their lives.

This was such a great surprise for me because I didn’t know what to expect. The open discussion about depression and suicide was important because of the different views from both of them. Kevin has been struggling with his mental health for years and it was caused by childhood trauma. Val, on the other hand, has struggled with processing his relationships and how they have affected him. The script was great because it explored these issues but it also had a pop of dark humour at the best moments.

Christopher Abbott and Jerrod Carmichael gave great, committed performances. Their chemistry and genuine bond with each other really worked for this film. Kevin and Val were compassionate with each other, looked out for one another, but most importantly called each other out on their bullshit. They are so different from each other and that’s why this 24 hour journey they went on together made for an interesting watch.

On the Count of Three was a fun directorial debut from Jerrod Carmichael. The script is well-written (except for that ending) and it created a space where these thoughts could be explored. There are so many unexpected moments, which were fun and Abbott honestly stole the show. Can’t wait to give this another watch.

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