Running out of things to watch on Netflix? We’ve found the next movie to add to your queue.
Earlier this week, while mindlessly scrolling through the streaming service’s many offerings, a title appeared in the Trending Now section that caught our eye. The movie? A comedy titled Banana Split.
Banana Split follows April (played by the film’s screenwriter Hannah Marks) as she struggles to process her breakup from longtime boyfriend Nick (played by Disney Channel great Dylan Sprouse). To make matters worse, April becomes best friends with new girl Clara (Liana Liberato), who just happens to be Nick’s new girlfriend.
In a world where Kissing Booth and To All the Boys sequels are king, Banana Split is a welcome addition to Netflix’s film line-up.
Why? Because the love story at the core of the film is one about friendship.
Yes, Banana Split may seem like a messy teen rom-com, but it’s so much more than that.
While Banana Split isn’t without its flaws, it offers up a sweet look at Gen-Z female friendships amid a transition into adulthood.
“I feel like people don’t really write about friendship that much because, I guess, the whole point of a movie is to have conflict,” Marks noted in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith earlier this year. “But I think it’s such a beautiful relationship. One of my favorite movies is Frances Ha, that dealt with female friendship really well, so it’s exciting to follow in those footsteps.”
Not to mention, the film is filled with many up-and-comers, who clearly put their hearts into making this movie. We’re talking actors from Marvel movies, Nickelodeon sitcoms, Hulu originals and more.
It helps that many of the actors were already friends heading into the project, including Marks and Liberato.
“We’ve been friends since we were really little; we met when she was nine and I was 11,” Marks said of her co-star during a June interview with NME. “There are a lot of things that we drew on from our friendship for the film.”
In fact, as Marks detailed in her BUILD Series interview with Matt Forte, Liberato read the script “before anyone read it.”
She shared, “She read it when it was like 40 pages then 60 pages then 80 pages. And we would have sleepovers and read it in her bed and fantasize about getting to make a movie together.”
A film by friends for friends.
For a closer look at the Banana Split cast, scroll through the images below!
Hannah Marks not only stars in Banana Split, but she co-wrote the film alongside Joey Power, with whom she wrote After Everything. Per Marks, Banana Split is inspired by her own teenage heartbreak.
However, before she became the next filmmaker to watch, Marks was a child star born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif. You may recognize the 27-year-old actress from her work in Accepted, Weeds, The Amazing Spider-Man, Necessary Roughness and more.
She’s likely best known for her role as Amanda Brotzman in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.
Her next project, Mark, Mary & Some Other People, will feature Ben Rosenfield, Hayley Law and Gillian Jacobs.
If you think you’ve seen Liana Liberato before, trust your gut! According to Liberato’s bio on IMDB, she has been working professionally since she was 9-years-old.
After landing a series of guest roles on procedurals like Cold Case, CSI: Miami and House, Liberato made a splash in the David Schwimmer-directed film, Trust. Starring alongside Clive Owen, Liberato played a teenage girl targeted by a predator online.
From there, Liberato went on to star in notable films, including If I Stay, The Best of Me, Novitiate, To the Bone and more. She also starred in the Hulu thriller Light as a Feather.
Ok, ok. Dylan Sprouse may not be an up-and-comer per say, but Banana Split does mark one of his bigger projects since his return to acting in 2017.
Sprouse, alongside twin brother Cole Sprouse, rose to fame in his childhood for his roles in Big Daddy, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, The Suite Life on Deck and more.
Sprouse took a brief step back from the limelight to focus on his studies at New York University. He’ll appear next in the After sequel, titled After We Collided.
Banana Split isn’t Luke Spencer Roberts first foray into acting!
Prior to playing best friend Ben, Roberts had roles in Faking It, Hail, Caesar!, Fear the Walking Dead, The Good Neighbor and more.
You may also recognize the up-and-comer from his work in the hilarious Netflix film, The Package. He also popped up in the latest season of Veronica Mars.
We feel he’s certainly one to watch!
Jacob Batalon has quite the promising career ahead of him.
The Hawaiian-born performer seems to be popping up in everything these days. While Batalon is best known for playing best friend Ned to Tom Holland‘s Peter Parker in the new Spider-Man movies, reprising his role in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, he also recently starred in the Netflix rom-com Let It Snow.
He also appeared in the 2018 fantasy drama Every Day.
What’s even more shocking? Batalon only made his acting debut in 2016! Talk about a good couple of years.
Addison Riecke had us in stitches as the foul-mouthed little sister in Banana Split.
This isn’t surprising as Riecke has perfected her comedic timing through her work on Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans. She also impressed us by holding her own in the star-studded The Beguiled film, which featured Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Colin Farrell and others.
She’s since starred in A Girl Named Jo.
Liberato’s Light as a Feather co-star Haley Ramm joined Banana Split in a supporting role. Yet, Ramm clearly is an up-and-comer with several notable projects on her resume. In fact, Ramm has worked with Hollywood greats, including Jodie Foster, Sean Penn, Jason Bateman and more.
Notable credits include X-Men: The Last Stand, Into the Wild, Disconnect, Chasing Life, Without a Trace, etc.
She’s slated to appear in Hannah Marks’ next project, Mark, Mary & Some Other People.
An activist and an actress.
Meagan Kimberly Smith may only have a handful of credits on her acting resume, including Blindspot and the late Lynn Shelton‘s Outside In, but she’s already using her platform for good. As co-creator of Mixed In America, Smith is hoping to empower the Mixed community and encourage a conversation about race in America.
We’re excited to see what’s next for the proud multiracial actress and activist.
Banana Split is available now on Netflix!