About Alex, a new drama from first time writer, director Jesse Zwick and starring Aubrey Plaza, Max Greenfield and Jason Ritter, to name a few, premieres Thursday night at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Dubbed an homage to The Big Chill, About Alex tells the story of seven friends from college who reunite years later after one of the group attempts suicide. Hoping to spend a weekend having fun like they used to, the group realizes that they aren’t as close as they thought they were.

The ensemble cast is sure to grab headlines: the seven friends are played almost exclusively by young TV actors. Plaza (Parks and Recreation) and Greenfield (New Girl) are perhaps the most visible TV stars in the cast, and joining them are Ritter (Parenthood), Maggie Grace (Lost, Taken), Jane Levy (Suburgatory), Max Minghella (The Mindy Project, The Social Network) and Nate Parker (The Secret Life of Bees).

Zwick is a journalist-turned-filmmaker who worked as a writer on NBC’s Parenthood, but he said he was surprised he managed to get such a star-studded cast for About Alex.

“I believed in the script so I thought it was going to come out okay, but I’m still a little confused on how I managed to hoodwink these actors into believing that I knew what I was doing,” Zwick admitted to Complex.

About Alex explores the nature of friendship and the new definition of ‘keeping in touch’ that has emerged in the age of social media, namely Facebook.

“We can stay in touch with more people than ever before while putting in less of an effort and, as a result, we have more friends than we ever did. But it’s an open question to how well we know some of these people and what our obligations are to them. So I wrote about a reunion of a group of old friends in order to explore that question,” Zwick explained in an interview.

In this sneak peek of the film, Sarah (Plaza) and Josh (Greenfield) fight about her tendency of keeping up friendships through social media.

'About Alex' Clip from The Playlist on Vimeo.

Interestingly enough, About Alex was filmed on location in upstate New York, where cell service was limited.

While not autobiographical, Zwick revealed that he was inspired to write the film after his failed attempt to organize a reunion with his group of college friends.

“In a way, telling this story was sort of wish fulfillment for the reunion my friends and I couldn’t make happen. I started thinking: What if we’d all been able to push pause on our lives and get back together? What would have happened? Would we still be the same people we used to be?”

About Alex premieres Thursday night, and will have three additional screenings during the Tribeca Film Festival: Saturday, April 19, Tuesday, April 22, and Sunday, April 27.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

More on the Tribeca Film Festival:

> 'Time Is Illmatic' And Nas Kick Off The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival

> First Look At 'Gabriel' Starring Rory Culkin

> 2014 Tribeca Film Festival Must-See Movies: 'About Alex,' 'Begin Again' And More

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