starring Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, Sheila Vand, Jeremy Allen White
screenplay by Dave Franco & Joe Swanberg
directed by Dave Franco
by Walter Chaw The good version of The Rental, Dave Franco's directorial debut (which he co-wrote with Joe Swanberg), reminds a lot of Paul Etheredge-Ouzts's exceptional Hellbent in how it addresses prejudice through the application of genre conventions. The bad version of The Rental is the one that isn't about any of that and is maybe a little bit racist in that well-intended way people who would be horrified to be thought of as racist are a little bit racist. The good version finds a quartet of friends, lovers, and brothers away for a weekend of privileged R&R at an extravagant Airbnb to celebrate the closing of some big deal that will make them richer with more time and disposable income than they already have. The brothers are unctuous Charlie (Dan Stevens) and pugnacious Josh (Jeremy Allen White). Charlie is married to irritating Michelle (Alison Brie) and business partners with Iranian-American Mina (Sheila Vand), whose main character trait is that she is obviously Iranian-American. That part is from the bad version of The Rental. The good version finds them away on their weekend holiday, met at their rental destination by creepy good ol' boy Taylor (an exceptional Toby Huss), who has apparently rejected Mina's attempt to rent--only to go with the white applicant immediately.