Rent-A-Pal is a 2020 American thriller film written and directed by Jon Stevenson, produced by J.D. Lifshitz, Brian Landis Folkins, Jon Stevenson, Annie Elizabeth Baker, Jimmy Weber, Robert B. Martin Jr., Brandon Fryman and Raphael Margules. It stars Wil Wheaton, Brian Landis Folkins, Kathleen Brady, Amy Rutledge, Adrian Egolf.
Rent-A-Pal was released on September 11, 2020 by IFC Midnight, and received positive reviews from critics.
David Brower is a middle-aged bachelor in 1990 who is looking for a romantic partner while also caring for his irritable dementia-ridden mother Lucille. His father, Frank, an accomplished jazz-musician, committed suicide ten years prior. He has been utilizing Video Rendezvous, a video dating service, for six months to no avail. After going to one of their locations to record an updated tape, David stumbles across another tape in their bargain bin titled “Rent-A-Pal,” which he purchases after it intrigues him. Watching the tape, he finds that Rent-A-Pal features its host, Andy, who talks to the viewer and leaves in pauses to allow the viewer to simulate a conversation, though is quickly disillusioned and shuts it off.
The next morning, David is contacted by Video Rendezvous, who says that a woman, Lisa, wanted to match with him after watching his latest tape. When he goes to retrieve her tape, the receptionist informs him that she has already found another match, and when he watches her tape, he learns that she likes jazz and is a professional caregiver, depressing him further. He decides to continue watching Rent-A-Pal, where David confides in Andy that Lucille, like Andy’s mother, was physically abusive. David also talks about his failures to find a partner, and when Andy shares a story about a girl who lied to avoid going to a dance with him in high school, he convinces David to make him his friend.
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