The British comedy horror film “All My Friends Hate Me” is a strange cocktail of moments of dark comedy and frightful revelations that somehow work well by the end. The film tells the story of Pete, who reunites with his close friends from college to spend his birthday weekend. The film mostly keeps one guessing as to what exactly is going on and ultimately turns out to be (mostly) unpredictable. It is not that “All My Friends Hate Me” is flawless, but rather its weird, strange, and somewhat messy plotline makes the film a rather unique and interesting watch.
‘All My Friends Hate Me’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
A man in his thirties named Pete discusses an upcoming weekend trip with his girlfriend, Sonia. It seems that Pete has been distant from his very close college friends for some time, and now, after getting back in touch, his best friend George has invited him to a weekend party to celebrate Pete’s birthday. While Sonia is also invited and is supposed to join her boyfriend the next day, Pete drives over on that very day to spend one whole day catching up with old buddies. Driving down from the city to the countryside, as George’s parents own a sprawling estate where the party is supposed to be held, Pete takes a stop to relieve himself and sees a whimpering dog helplessly tied to a fence. Going close to see if he can help it out, the man spots an old hatchback car parked on the grounds with loud music playing inside. Pete tries to take a closer look when suddenly, a homeless man resting inside the car jumps out and chases him away, forcing him to run back to his car and make an escape.
After driving some more, now seeming to have lost his way, Pete asks an elderly gentleman on the road for directions. The man does help Pete out, but not before joking around and pulling his leg by seeming to be deranged. Finally, Pete arrives at the country house, but unlike his expectations, the place is completely empty. Thinking that his friends might have gone off somewhere else, or might not have arrived, the man sits around in the salon drinking beer for a few minutes, and then a few hours, before dozing off to sleep. Almost in the evening, the friends arrive at the house and explain that they thought Pete would get caught up in an accident on the highway and so had gone off to the local pub for drinks. All the friends in the group are now revealed—George, who hails from a rich ancestry; his wife Fig; a rich and drug-loving man called Archie; and Pete’s ex-lover Claire. However, a sixth person soon enters the scene: a local, slightly elderly man called Harry, who does seem out of place in the lavish house of the mostly rich men and women, has been invited to the party by the friends after they made acquaintance with him in the pub.
Within some time, however, Pete finds it a hard time fitting in with his friends, as something feels off and different. Nobody seems too interested in hearing Pete talk, as he tries to share about his recent volunteering trip at a refugee camp. He tries to talk about his weird experiences driving down to the house, and has to make two or three attempts at it as he just cannot hold his friends’ attention. Finally, when he does tell the story of his encounter with the old man with directions, he realizes that the same man is standing inside the room and looks quite disrespected by his account. Pete learns that the man is Norman, some sort of hired help at George’s country house. When the friends talk about a certain “Plank,” a young man they had once partied with, Pete does not seem to remember and instead tries talking about how stupidly embarrassing things they used to do when young, which again, nobody is interested in hearing. He also learns that Claire had actually attempted suicide after he had left the country, and Pete cannot help but think that he is to be mostly blamed for this.
As the evening progresses, Pete grows an uncomfortable air of suspicion toward the stranger Harry, who he feels has been trying to get all the attention at a birthday party organized for Pete. Also, Harry’s mysterious habit of pulling out a small pocketbook and scribbling things in it whenever Pete says something about himself makes the latter suspect that this stranger is here to somehow cause harm to him. This suspicion almost turns to fear when, later that evening, Pete spots the same old hatchback car that had earlier housed the homeless man, parked in front of George’s house.
What Is Harry’s Real Identity?
From here on, Pete’s evening gets even more uncomfortable around his once-dear friends, but mostly due to his own difference of opinion. He gets offended when Archie uses a not-so-politically correct word and denies ever having used it when Archie says that he used to love the word. Pete had also confided in George that he was about to propose to Sonia, and George had warned him of Claire’s past incident and that she was probably still not over Pete. George had said to Pete that it would be better if he did not speak of his proposal or engagement to Claire, but Claire does somehow get to know about it and personally congratulates Pete for it. The man also claims that he and Fig had once kissed while in college, which Fig says she has no memory of while among all their friends, and then confronts Pete, saying that he is lying when the two of them are alone.
Late at night, he hears his friends discussing something downstairs, and he suspiciously tries to find out what it is, but to no avail. Pete also finds it strange that his herbal anti-stress pills are missing, and then becomes angry when he sees that his medicine has been replaced with ecstasy tablets. He obviously suspects Harry to have done it, as the two have been given the same room to share, but decides to try and investigate the matter on his own without any initial confrontation. The next morning, he goes through Harry’s things and finds a picture of a little girl on the man’s phone that he seems to identify. The guilt of letting Claire down in love and then indirectly leading her towards killing herself catches up with Pete’s conscience as he has a nightmare about it, and it is all the more heightened when he learns that Claire has already left the party early in the morning the next day.
As his friends, who now seem to be full of practical jokes, leave him alone with Harry to walk to the nearest pub to celebrate, Pete spends long minutes of awkward conversation with the man he suspects of trying to hurt him. Finally, at one point, Pete comes clean and tells Harry to leave, saying how intolerable he finds the man’s presence at his birthday party among his friends, and then walks towards the pub alone. As he finally is able to spot the pub across an open field, Pete also sees Harry charging towards him with an ax in his hand, clearly wanting to kill him with it.
Pete somehow runs and rolls down the slope to the field and barges into the pub to save himself from his assailant, only to realize that this too had been another practical joke by his friends, who had left early to decorate the pub and then told Harry to act out this shenanigan just for laughs. After some time spent at the pub, the group of friends drives down to a field where George and Archie have prepared a bird-hunting session for Pete, who gets unpleasantly surprised by it. Although George says that Pete has hunted here once before, the friend denies ever having done such a thing and claims that he does not want to hurt animals just for entertainment. Pete sticks to his claim for most of the while, until he feels a sort of peer pressure and fires at one bird but misses killing it, most probably unintentionally. A similar change of principles was earlier seen in the pub as well, when Pete denied taking cocaine at first, only to be convinced by Archie. When the man did snort the drug, though, he emptied most of the small bag holding it, much to the anger of Archie.
The group returns to the house, where they also find Claire to have come back, and the woman says that she had gone to spend some time with her aunt, who lives close by. Pete is relieved by her return; he tries to convince her that his friends are turning against him and also breaks down. Although their relationship had ended long ago during college, the two had been going out with each other casually right before Pete met Sonia and decided to be with her. Pete now asks Claire to not speak of this time to his girlfriend, as he has not yet told Sonia about this, and Claire agrees. Sonia arrives soon after, and the friends welcome her to the group, but Pete’s nervousness about how his friends might act still remains. This is finally expressed when Archie does a Jimmy Savile (possibly Britain’s most prolific sex offender) impersonation that Sonia does not seem to mind much, but Pete is extremely offended by. He tells Archie off and then tries to personally console him after the man shakily leaves the room, and Archie reveals that he is frustrated with life. Realizing that he has Archie’s confidence, Pete somehow leads the conversation to his dislike and distrust of Harry, and Pete then even finds Harry’s pocketbook, which contains short descriptions of Pete’s behavior in it. The man now goes downstairs and confronts Harry privately, but the latter does not seem to understand what is going on. Pete also has a private conversation with Sonia, and he now comes clean about hooking up with Claire only some time before they started dating. However, Sonia reveals that Pete had already told her about it when they had first started dating, and she did not mind at all.
Late that night, the friends prepare a surprise performance for Pete, and they all sit around a pedestal or stage-like setup. Harry seems to conduct the event, funnily dressed with a plastic bag on his head, and finally, the show starts—the friends have made a young man dress up like Pete and talk trash about him in a roast-comedy sort of manner. Fake Pete, as he is called by the friends, gradually paints a harsh but true picture of Pete’s character, who is always eager to boast about his charity work and about how he has changed from his college days to fit in more with his new, refined girlfriend, Sonia. Towards the end of the performance, the impersonator and all his friends encourage Pete to reveal who he thinks Harry is, for he had earlier told some of the friends personally that he thought Harry was someone he knew from before. Unable to hold it in any longer, Pete reveals a dark secret he has been keeping in his conscience since his teenage years—there used to be a neighbor of his, a little girl, who had some mental ailment and was terribly scared of dogs. Pete and a friend of his would regularly prank call this girl and make dog noises over the phone until one day; she suffocated herself to death with a plastic bag. Although there was no consequence to the incident on Pete, the girl’s elder brother always held him responsible, and Pete claims that the same brother is now back to exact revenge, as he is Harry.
However, while all the friends sit in shock and disbelief, Harry says that he has no idea who Pete is talking about, and instead reveals that he is actually Plank, an old friend from college. He also says that the dog barks used in the performance were to remind everyone of a stupid incident from college where Pete made Plank kiss a dog; the plastic bag over his head is to denote the bag of cocaine that Pete finished off some hours back, and the picture of the young girl on Plank’s phone is that of Plank’s own daughter. Pete tries talking about all the times his friends had turned against him during this weekend, but all his beliefs are debunked one after the other—his pills had not been exchanged by Harry, but by Archie only as a practical joke; Pete had earlier claimed that his friends used to call him Skippy, as in the skipper or captain of all parties, but none of the friends remembered such a name or personality for Pete; nobody had told Claire of his wish to propose to Sonia, but the woman had herself guessed it from how happy Pete was in life. Sonia not only gets to hear of a possible proposal in the worst sort of manner, but she now also questions why Pete was scared to let Claire know about it, hinting that Pete himself had not totally gotten over Claire.
Finally, George calmly says that it has not been Harry or the friends who have ruined the weekend, but it has been Pete himself, who has throughout suspected his friends of plotting a conspiracy plan against him, which simply was not true. It was Pete who had changed and had even not cared to try and be in touch with his friends; the man does not even know what his friends do as he says that George and Fig work in finance, and Sonia corrects him that they practice corporate law. Pete breaks down and is still in rather disbelief, when Plank tries to lighten the mood by cracking another joke, but Pete can take it no longer. He picks up an ornamental vase and hurls it at Plank with an offensive racial slur; the vase hits Plank’s head, and he instantly falls to the ground.
‘All My Friends Hate Me’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Pete And Sonia’s Relationship?
As the scene fades to black at the ruined birthday party after Pete’s actions, Sonia and Pete are next seen driving back on the highway the following day. At first, Pete tries to nonchalantly complain of a bad hangover, but when Sonia does not respond, he soon addresses the engagement plan. He apologizes to her for the way it was revealed to her and also admits that he would understand if Sonia rejected him after all that happened at the party. He asks her if she would still want to be with him, to which Sonia quickly and coldly replies, “no.” Pete tries to agree and justify this decision and breaks down in tears, only for Sonia to reveal that she was just joking. She exclaims that she does want to be with Pete and marry him, and then says that the only problem with Pete is that he just does not know how to take a joke. As Pete is visibly bewildered and confused by the whole situation, “All My Friends Hate Me” cuts to black.
It is really not possible to take one particular side in this film, as although Pete does seem too suspicious and distrusting of his friends, the acts that the friends come up with are also not too normal or common-place. While the film does not make anything clear about the hatchback car and the homeless man, it can be guessed that it may have been Plank himself who had pulled another practical joke on Pete. There are moments in the film that make Pete paranoid. Although “All My Friends Hate Me” does not seem to have too much hiding beneath its surface, what works for the film is the general discomfort that it successfully brings out at times. It is in the cringy, unsuccessful attempts of friends trying to go back to their past even though they have majorly changed over the years that makes the film at least worthy of watching.
“All My Friends Hate Me” is a 2022 Drama Comedy film directed by Andrew Gaynord.