IFC Midnight is acquiring North American rights to retro Tinder nightmare RENT-A-PAL written and directed by Jon Stevenson, starring Brian Landis Folkins (Hoax), Wil Wheaton (Stand By Me, Star Trek – The Next Generation), Kathleen Brady (Breaking Bad), and Amy Rutledge (Neighbor). Inspired by real-life VHS tape ‘RENT-A-FRIEND: THE ORIGINAL VIDEO COMPANION’, a response to loneliness in the analog era. RENT-A-PAL was produced by Annie Elizabeth Baker, Jimmy Weber, Jon Stevenson of Pretty People Pictures, alongside J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules of BoulderLight Pictures. IFC Midnight will release the film in September 2020.
Set in 1990, a lonely bachelor named David (Brian Landis Folkins) searches for an escape from the day-to-day drudgery of caring for his aging mother (Kathleen Brady). While seeking a partner through a video dating service, he discovers a strange VHS tape called Rent-A-Pal. Hosted by the charming and charismatic Andy (Wil Wheaton), the tape offers him much-needed company, compassion, and friendship. But, Andy’s friendship comes at a cost, and David desperately struggles to afford the price of admission. Director Jon Stevenson said, “It’s an honor to have my directorial debut released on IFC Midnight. Their history of high-quality genre entertainment has directly inspired my work. To now be a part of their rich film library is surreal. I look forward to working with their team in releasing Rent-A-Pal. This movie is near and dear to my heart and I’m truly excited for the world to see it. And for the world to see a very different side of Wil Wheaton.”
Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.