The Climb is about a tumultuous but enduring platonic relationship between two men across many years of laughter, heartbreak and rage. It’s also the story of real-life best friends who turn their profound connection into a rich, humane and frequently LOL film about the boundaries (or lack thereof) in all close friendships. The story unfolds over seven chapters during the span of a decade, bringing in multiple secondary characters that are just as strong as the main ones.

The story begins when best friends Mike and Kyle are biking together, and Mike breaks the news to Kyle that he’s slept with his fiancé. He does this on an incline as Kyle is a less experienced cyclist than Mike. The first chuckles of the film begin, and continue right through to the end. In the ensuing argument, Mike has a moment of road rage with a motorist that culminates into Mike getting assaulted after chasing the motorist down the road. At the hospital, where Mike is recovering from minor head wounds, Kyle’s fiancé visits Mike and is confronted by Kyle over her affair. She then goes on to marry Mike instead, but she unexpectedly dies shortly after. Even this is portrayed in a comical way.

A visibly distraught Mike causes a scene at her funeral which is diffused by Kyle, who came to pay his respects. Kyle forges forward in life dating a high-school sweetheart (Marissa), and remains close friends with Mike. Though his overprotective, overbearing mother is disapproving of Kyle’s new relationship, she is nonetheless happy for him when he announces his engagement with her. She then reveals to Kyle that she invited Mike to celebrate Christmas with them, noting his having no family of his own to celebrate with.

On Christmas night, a now overweight, heavy drinking Mike arrives at Kyle’s family’s home, and Kyle’s mother confronts Mike, telling him that the pair need to make amends. Kyle decides to invite him to join him and Marissa on their vacation to a ski resort over New Years. What was initially suppose to be a day visit, ends up being overnight, much to the despise of Marissa. She decides to confront Mike about his behavior, and he ends up making a pass at her. She initially pushes him back, but then comes on to him in hopes that Kyle finds out and will finally ditch Mike for good. It’s one of the funniest scenes in the movie.

Kyle eventually does cut ties with Mike, until Mike crashes their wedding ceremony and objects to the union. During the confrontation, Marissa loudly declares that she’s pregnant and that she’s adamant about getting married. Upon learning this, the priest refuses to wed them until after the child is born.

Several years later, Kyle and Marissa decide to separate, and Kyle then moves a few doors down the street so that the pair can both stay in touch with their son. Mike and Kyle rekindle their buddy friendship once again, and the film ends much the same way as it began, with the pair cycling down a roadway..

This film is well worth the watch, and with some of it taking place over Christmas and New Year’s, this may well be the surprise holiday movie of the season!

The Climb is directed and produced by Michael Angelo Covino, and written by Covino and Kyle Marvin, real life friends who also star in the film. Released on November 13, 2020, by Sony Pictures Classics.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.