In “Parachute,” we’re reminded how love and romance isn’t a cure but sometimes a drug to alleviate symptoms.

Read our Editorial Guidelines regarding how posts are written and rated and our use of affiliate links.

Plot Summary

Within a week of getting out of rehab, Riley meets Ethan through her best friend and roommate Casey, and while she knows she shouldn’t have a boyfriend, she allows for a blurred line of friendship with Ethan to develop. She brings this up to her therapist, Dr. Akerman, and her friends know and see this is a romantic relationship, or one Ethan is agreeing to the unique terms of.

But, with Riley focusing more on her relationship, romantic or otherwise, than her recovery, she begins to spiral back to where she was when going to rehab felt necessary.

Content Information

  • Dialog: Cursing
  • Violence: Self-Harm
  • Sexual Content: Nudity, Sexual Situations (Implied)
  • Miscellaneous: Drinking, Drug Use, Eating Disorder, Vomiting (sound), Smoking

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. Dave Bautista’s role as Bryce was a good one. It was nothing to hoot and holler about, but it did make me curious about seeing him in a role that didn’t focus on his physique.

Collected Quote(s)

It’s not selfish, it’s necessary. — Justin

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What specifically happened to Riley’s dad when she was 19?

Characters and Cast Members

Character Name Actor Name
Riley Courtney Eaton
Ethan Thomas Mann
Casey Francesca Reale
Dr. Akerman Gina Rodriguez
Justin Kid Cudi
Jamie Joel McHale
Bryce Dave Bautista

Character Description(s)


Courtney Eaton as Riley
Courtney Eaton as Riley

Fresh from the hospital and reeling from a bad breakup and a disappointing relationship with her mom, Riley has only Casey for support. She helps her get a job, and while it may not relate to her journalist degree or be enough to pay the bills, at the very least, it helps keep her busy when she isn’t with Ethan.


Thomas Mann as Ethan Parachute directed by Brittany Snow 2024 Vertical Entertainment 2 scaled
Thomas Mann as Ethan

Ethan is a musician who formerly had a band. After they broke up, he worked at a local place to make ends meet. When not at work, he dates, tries to keep his dad from doing something that could hurt someone, and spends time with friends.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “About Fate.”


Francesca Reale as Casey
Francesca Reale as Casey

Casey is Riley’s best friend who is an actress who performs at a local murder mystery restaurant.

Dr. Akerman

Gina Rodriguez as Dr. Akerman
Gina Rodriguez as Dr. Akerman

Dr. Akerman is Riley’s therapist.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Players.”


Kid Cudi as Justin
Kid Cudi as Justin

Justin is Ethan’s best friend and Casey’s boyfriend.


Joel McHale as Jamie
Joel McHale as Jamie

Jamie is Ethan’s dad, who has a drinking problem.


Dave Bautista as Bryce
Dave Bautista as Bryce

Bryce is Casey and Riley’s boss, who both writes and directs the murder mystery they partake in, which has led to some frustration because of how predictable the story is.


Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Good If You Like

  • Complicated, young adult romances

Similar To This

  1. To The Bone: Note this depicts someone with an eating disorder in an extreme way that could be triggering or troubling
  2. Everything Now: A series about a young woman, fresh from rehab, struggling to create a new normal.
  3. Be Good: A short about a young woman with an eating disorder

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.


Understanding Why Riley Wasn’t Supposed to Date A Year Into Recovery

On Whitney Cummings’ podcast, “Good For You,” within the first 100 episodes, she spoke to someone about addiction, a topic she frequented at the time, and how love plays a role in recovery. Mind you, not in solving problems but becoming a problem. To paraphrase, she presented the idea that when someone is dealing with an addiction, whether drugs, behavior, or alcohol, and she may have mentioned eating disorders as well, what they will seek is something new to fixate on.

Enter a relationship which, because of all that a person can offer you, or you take from them, is a wonderful distraction. Take note that Riley felt better around Ethan and didn’t have obsessive thoughts about her body. However, that was only when he was there as a good friend or up to the point of having physical intimacy. For when he touched her arm, her thighs, parts of her she felt were unlovable, the love drug wore off, and she felt repelled by him.

I’d even submit that she tried to see herself through his eyes and, at times, was able to trick herself into feeling beautiful, lovable, and someone a person, not just a romantic partner, would stick by. However, like someone who cuts or burns themselves, eventually, she needed how she felt in her head to match her world, and so when she felt repulsed, she had to push him away and get him to say the mean and hurtful things she had heard in her head.

It’s a cruel cycle that reminds you how complicated self-love can be and that no matter how good of a talker someone is, no matter how much they show up, and maybe even can make you feel loved at times, if you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself, it is going to be hard to have one that could survive with someone else.

A Different Depiction Of Someone With Body Dysmorphia

Like many, when I think of someone with body dysmorphia and the possibility of an eating disorder, I think I’m going to see someone with anorexia, bulimia, or who overeats. That isn’t the case with “Parachute.” We get someone who has anxiety and a hyper-fixation on their bodies to the point that, while they can still function in society, such as go to work and be amongst people, their capacity to do so can suddenly drop depending on the circumstances.

It’s not hard to imagine, either. Men and women have more access to each other than ever, and there is no longer that line that someone looks like that because they are a model, an entertainer, or an athlete. Now, like Riley, you can scroll on Instagram and see people who appear to have the perfect body daily. Meanwhile, you could be like Riley.

Which is where the complication comes in, and perhaps why her mom is callous: Riley lives in the middle. She lives in the realm many do, where they don’t look like exercising is part of their job or a beloved hobby, or she eats beyond what her body needs. So, on the surface, people like Riley’s mom question what could be wrong as those like Riley pick at their thighs, their necks, and under their arms and question their desirability.

In some ways, this is heartbreaking as you watch Ethan try to love Riley through the pain, but you can see there is truly only so much one person can do when things get so bad they can’t even undress to clean themselves, for then they have to look at themselves without how clothing may tuck, pull, hide, or restrict them.

A Taste Of What Ethan Goes Through

For most movies like “Parachute,” the focus is on the lead with the disease, disorder, or illness, whichever word feels the most comfortable. But halfway through the movie, the perspective shifts onto Ethan, and if you ever find yourself wondering why he would be by Riley’s side despite how she treats him, you are pushed to get it.

When we meet Ethan’s father, Jamie, who appears to be a functioning alcoholic, it makes so much sense. It’s hard to say whether Ethan wants to save his dad but can’t be there for him in a meaningful way or wants to find purpose in his life by being someone’s crutch. However, what is clear is that Jamie doesn’t ask Ethan to help as Riley does. That Riley appreciates Ethan being there and is affectionate to him in return.

Also, it’s clear that even if as a parachute, safety blanket, crutch, anyway which doesn’t push Riley to take accountability for herself, Ethan was able to help someone he loved and seemed to find the kind of purpose in that that made his life worth living.

On The Fence

The Way Time Jumps Are Handled

The movie covers roughly three years, at minimum two years, and it is hard to understand why the journey we see takes that long. Maybe it is because we only get to one Thanksgiving dinner? Perhaps it is because not much happens in either Ethan or Riley’s careers, and the passage of time is mainly through random mentions of how long someone has known another or Casey and Justin’s relationship hitting milestones.

Either way, something feels off about the pacing and writing of this movie. It makes you feel like you’ve only been with Riley and Ethan for a few months, maybe a year, no matter how many people they may have dated or the highs and lows of their relationship.

Dr. Akerman

As someone who has seen a therapist and knows people in therapy, I feel Dr. Akerman wasn’t great at her job. It didn’t seem she kept Riley accountable, but I wouldn’t say she enabled her. She certainly didn’t question what Riley was doing with Ethan as it became clear he wasn’t good for her recovery, and her hugging Riley as Riley was having a moment, I wouldn’t say, was the worst thing, but it felt more odd than having a human moment with someone who was hurting.

Background Information

Film Length 1 Hour 47 Minutes
Date Released April 12, 2024
Where To Watch Video On Demand
Director(s) Brittany Snow
Writer(s) Brittany Snow, Becca Gleason
Based On Work By N/A
Genre(s) DramaRomanceYoung Adult
Content Rating Not Rated

How To Watch

Rent/Buy “Parachute” via Prime Video.

Listed Under Categories: ,

Follow, Like and Subscribe

Parachute (2024) Movie Review


Draining in the best way, with a ending that just feels right, “Parachute” is a reminder that sometimes it’s not about getting better but just feeling different.

  • Understanding Why Riley Wasn’t Supposed to Date A Year Into Recovery - 83%
  • A Different Depiction Of Someone With Body Dysmorphia - 84%
  • A Taste Of What Ethan Goes Through - 82%
  • The Way Time Jumps Are Handled - 73%
  • Dr. Akerman - 75%
User Review
0/100 (0 votes)


  • A Taste Of What Ethan Goes Through
  • A Different Depiction Of Someone With Body Dysmorphia
  • Understanding Why Riley Wasn’t Supposed to Date A Year Into Recovery


  • Dr. Akerman
  • The Way Time Jumps Are Handled

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.