Freshman Year (15)

Freshman Year (15)

Director: Cooper Raiff

Runtime: 90 minutes

Cast: Cooper Raiff, Dylan Gelula, Amy Landecker, Logan Miller, Olivia Welch, Abby Quinn


Synopsis: College freshman Alex is struggling: he’s lonely and homesick and can’t seem to make new friends. But everything changes when he attends a party at the legendary fraternity Shithouse, and has a unforgettable night with Maggie.  When she ignores him completely the next day, Alex must pull out all the stops to rekindle that moment of connection


Cooper Raiff, actor, writer and director makes his feature debut with this intimate, low-budget, prize winning, independent film in the mumblecore genre.

He plays Alex in Freshman Year, which he also wrote. Alex feels alone and depressed at college. Home is 1500 miles away and he is struggling to find a reason not to go back there.

Alex is a first-year college student who is desperately shy and has a childhood soft toy in his room. (In the first scene, Alex imagines this creature speaking to him silently and derisively in subtitles). Alex also has an embarrassing habit of bursting into tears when he telephones his mother and sister, whom he misses desperately.

Maggie [Dylan Gelula – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015-2019), First Girl I Loved (2016)], Alex’s sophomore RA (resident assistant), has been successful at college since day one.  After a party at Shithouse, Maggie wants some company and finds it in Alex.

Alex thinks that he has a wonderful romantic connection with supercool Maggie when they have sex and hang out all night. He thinks that this could be the start of a wonderful love relationship. But the next day, Maggie is weird, distant with him, and Alex has to consider the possibility that this is what casual sex is like.

Two young people raised in very different households, Alex and Maggie challenge each other and grow up together in this clever, wise and wry coming of age comedy drama.

Cooper Raiff’s film is warmly honest in all aspects – on the balancing act of finding equilibrium, adapting to the first year at university, and change and how much the changes will shape who you become.

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Images courtesy of Protagonist Pictures