SXSW Film Review: Bob Trevino Likes It

Barbie Ferreira shines in charming film about chosen family

credit: John Rosario / Chosen Family, LLC

There’s something so powerful about Barbie Ferreira’s onscreen presence.

Out of all the women who have graced HBO’s Euphoria, she is probably the most underrated. Her comedic timing is impeccable, as is her ability to cry ugly tears without vanity. She’s a force in Tracie Laymon’s debut feature Bob Trevino Likes It, the glowing charisma that keeps the film going when the secondhand embarrassment hits insane levels of discomfort.

Bob Trevino Likes It brings us back to the days when social media was the wild west: a time before 23andMe, where people just randomly added others who shared their last name on Facebook, thinking there’s a chance that they could be family. This is what Ferreira’s character, Lily Trevino, does after a particularly painful fight with her father, Bob Trevino (French Stewart). On the hunt for her father’s private Facebook profile, she finds another Bob Trevino (John Leguizamo) who lives near her, one that quickly becomes her surrogate father.

The sweet is balanced nicely with the cringey, for the most part, and as Lily and surrogate Bob’s relationship blossoms, the film becomes more and more charming. Seeing Ferreira’s Lily take steps to become less of a people pleaser is genuinely gratifying, an evolution that is well earned from an excellent setup. It’s difficult to write a male-female relationship that feels strictly platonic, especially one that stems from internet friends, but Laymon is able to find that happy medium. It’s easy to believe that both of her characters come into their friendship with pure hearts.

The film only begins to feel slightly too manipulative when a third act tragedy strikes, leaving a few of the characters in shambles. It’s almost too big of a rug pull, a melodramatic trick that’s intended to sprout waterworks, but it’s not offensive enough to take away from the movie’s overall earnestness. Laymon’s film about chosen family is an authentic one, a kind journey about two lost people who find each other when they needed a good friend the most.

Bob Trevino Likes It

Narrative Feature Competition, World Premiere

Tuesday, March 12, 10:45am & 11:15am, Alamo South Lamar
Saturday, March 16, 2:15pm, Alamo South Lamar

Catch up with all of The Austin Chronicle's SXSW 2024 coverage.

Editor's note: This review originally misspelled the name of writer-director Tracie Laymon and has since been corrected. The Chronicle regrets the error.

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SXSW Film 2024, Bob Trevino Likes It, Barbie Ferreira, John Leguizamo

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