It's funny. The very strength "Friends, Foes & Fireworks" contains within, is also it's biggest weakness. What's that weakness you ask? It's the realism of the movie. The characters onscreen feel so much like real people, the movie magic we all hope for, when watching a good film, is almost non-existent. On one hand I really have to credit the cast for pulling off such fantastic performances. On the other hand... they simply don't come across as fictional characters at all, and this film feels more like a reality show. Now, the fine print in the description I read showcases the fact this film is mostly improvised. I can honestly say that is quite impressive, after watching. I can also say maybe this is why everyone feels so natural and not fiction-like. It's not a stretch to believe the cast, at some point, simply began acting like themselves. As I wrote above, the strength and weakness becomes quite apparent. I'm not a huge fan of reality TV. Or, more to the point, when I watch a film I expect to be drawn in. They call it movie magic for a reason. "Friends, Foes & Fireworks" put simply... lacks that. (Damn... this is confusing.) Had a more standard approach to the production been taken, I imagine things would have been quite different. Filming in that "hand-held" style also happens to truly solidify that reality TV feeling. If a bunch of cameras had been set up all over the place, stationary... and edited together... we would have had a more traditional feel and style. That would have went a long way for myself. But again, damn, the performances are so good it's hard not to begin to actually feel for these people, these characters. Adding to the productions confusion... and value... is the fact we do have a story here. It may be borderline iffy, but one does exist. I keep saying "Friends, Foes & Fireworks" feels more like a night of drinking captured on film, yet elements of friendship rivalry, true feelings and the ease of old friends, clearly does form a dramatic story of sorts. A story many people could easily relate with. But again, it's safe to say that I know a good many people living real lives, that would also make a great drama. So... I'm really stumped on what my true thoughts are regarding this film. What do I like or love? I love the gritty real feeling. I love the fact I can forget this is a fiction, eventually, and feel like a fly on the wall during a crazy few hours in the life of other people. I love the seemingly perfect chemistry between these people. Are the cast actually friends in real life? I like the fact that after forty five minutes or so, I did, in fact, ditch the reality feeling and begin thinking of this as a more traditional film. This wasn't intentional, it just happened. It is easily explained: The cast all feel real, and after forty five minutes or so, you've put the time in. Why shouldn't you become invested in these characters lives? Finally, I like the fact the audio is clear. The camera may be all over the place... but you have no problem hearing what happens to be going on. Clearly. Huge plus... especially for an indie film. What I didn't like all that much? The hand-held camera. The slightly long winded feel by the time I reached the end of the film. And, the fact I know, had this been a more traditional production, it could have been amazing. I truly believe the biggest problem "Friends, Foes & Fireworks" faces is getting people to watch long enough to appreciate the movie. If you "love" reality styled programming, you'll have no problem falling into this film. For those looking for a more traditional movie, it may be not be so easy. It's also safe to say I really struggled when coming up with my personal rating for this adventure. I flip-flopped from giving it a three star review, to a four star review. Based on the acting, and the fact eventually, I did get lost in this title. As you know, I split the difference and was left thinking one thing. It's not often I can write that the best parts of a movie are also the less than perfect elements. Ivan Malekin and Sarah Portelli have truly created something different. Your take on this film will depend on what you consider a movie. No matter what however, one thing is clear. However you slice it, this film is well above average. Entertaining? Oh yeah.