supporting-characters-posterDaniel Schechter’s Supporting Characters is one of six selections from the Tribeca Film Festival available via pay-per-view with Virgin Media, as well as select digital platforms including iTunes, PlayStation, and Xbox, and although it stars Alex Karpovksy alongside a cameoing Lena Dunham , that’s not all Supporting Characters shares with Girls. Just like the HBO/Sky Atlantic hit series, the film details the lives and loves of 20something New Yorkers and if you’re one of the viewers who can’t stand Hannah, Marnie and co, you’re unlikely to be especially fond of Supporting Characters’ leads. Self-absorbed protagonists aside, Supporting Characters also mimics Girls’ strongest assets – its humour and authenticity.

Nick (Karpovsky) and Daryl (Tarik Lowe) are best friends and film editors hired to try and save a patchy rom-com from the clutches of its manic, absentee director (Kevin Corrigan). But the seemingly simple job puts a strain on their professional and personal relationship, as well as jeopardising the love lives of both men (with a little help from the beautiful lead actress of the film they’re editing).

Though it has a freewheeling, unfocused feel, there’s a lot to enjoy about Supporting Characters, with a good laugh count, cine-literacy and some lovely little portraits of the domestic life of young couples. Childish Gambino gives the soundtrack some verve and there’s a great belly laugh to be had after a reference to the maudlin Will Smith vehicle Seven Pounds.

Karpovsky, always a joy as Girls’ droll Ray, is excellent as Nick, dotting his performance with asides and murmurs that betray the character’s internal unhappiness. Lowe, who co-wrote the film, also impresses with charm and presence as the sunnier, simpler Daryl – or as Nick always introduces him, in one of the film’s best running gags, ‘D-Money’.

The pair have great fraternal chemistry and the film’s at its strongest when it’s just a two-hander. Though film editor’s not a job many audience members would have ever given a thought to, we’re certainly invested in Nick and Daryl’s friendship, even if some of their obstacles are self-made.

It can also be a gruelling watch, with self-destructive behaviour from both Nick and Daryl and such a naturalism to the script that arguments between the men and the girlfriends feel so realistic that it’s like being trapped in a room with your own friends fighting. There’s not a great deal of incident either, with the narrative giving you a passing wave, rather than taking you firmly by the hand.

Still, with a low budget and enjoyable performances, Supporting Characters is a smart and diverting indie comedy with neat things to say about finding your feet in your 20s.