Premiered in the Cinema, ‘Starts Friday’

Bernard Anthony Lewandowski directed the dramatic comedy, ‘Starts Friday.’ It premiered at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on Apr. 3, 2010, at 7 pm in the UW-P cinema. The film is a low budget independent movie that was cast by University students, and was filmed on the east side of Milwaukee, which took twenty days to complete. According to Bernard, “Starts Friday was made for less than a month’s rent.”

The film follows Jimmy Quinn and Jerzy Dillon through their journey of life. Both of them are initially depicted as frequent and chronic users of cannabis. After a near death experience in their garage (smoking marijuana sitting in their car), they began to have new perspectives on life. Jerzy believed that this ‘accident’ was a sign from God, which has caused him to really strive to change his life. Jerzy attempted to get back with his former girlfriend, who was days away from being impressed anyway. The efforts of Jerzy gave Jimmy a second wind, as he attempted to get back with his ex-girlfriend. This put him in the difficult situation which spawned the phrase on the film’s advertisement poster, “Your buddy, your best girl, or your bong. . . it’s time to decide.” He had to choose between leaving behind his best friend, and losing the woman who he still loved.

The film was entertaining, and I must commend the cast and directors for success with such a low budget in a very short time. With that being said, there were some serious inconsistencies with reality in the film. ‘Starting Friday’ followed the two wherever they went, but it did not represent the reality of the counterculture it was representing. Really, who would be stupid enough to sit in their garage with their car running and their windows open, regardless of who they were, unless they were doing so intentionally? Jerzy was constantly obsessed with his notion of God being involved in this warning to the two men. He kept claiming that the pot they bought in the church parking lot is what cursed them. He then convinced Jimmy to stop smoking and flush his copious stash of illicit herbs down the toilet. Jimmy got upset, and it seemed like part of him died. However, if this were reality, Jimmy probably would have punched Jerzy in the face at this point and taken his precious herbage back. The movie seems as though it intentionally went out on these unrealistic tangents, which were not necessarily a bad thing if they are approached in this manner.

The depictions of relationships were very realistic. Many people have had serious feelings for former love interests, and have attempted to reconnect with them. This film portrayed the cold facts of time, with Jerzy’s former love interest getting married, as well as the spontaneity of love in the happy ending. It seems that with former love interests there’s always some confining factor that would keep people apart, and there are some who do get back together. The film does a wondrous job of balancing this phenomenon. The film balances the futile efforts of Jerzy, with the successful and loving reconciliation of Jimmy with his former love interest. The end cancels both of them out (in a good way) and I will let you, the viewer, be the one who makes the judgments about the end so the film is not ruined for you.

SThe website for the film is, and Bernard Anthony Lewandowski’s email is Feel free to contact him if you would like to see the film, or are interested in additional screenings.

Story by Jake Halverson

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