Inspired by the real-life VHS tape, Rent-A-Friend: The Original Companion, Rent-A-Pal is set in 1990 and follows a lonely bachelor named David (Brian Landis Folkins). In a pre-Tinder media era, David is looking to find an escape from the day-to-day drudgery of caring for his aging mother (Kathleen Brady). While seeking a partner through a video dating service, he discovers a strange VHS tape called Rent-A-Pal bosted by a charismatic gentleman named Andy (Wil Wheaton). The tape offers him much-needed company, compassion, and friendship but Andy’s friendship comes at a cost — and David is desperate to pay that price. Amy Rutledge also stars.
“It’s an honor to have my directorial debut released on IFC Midnight,” said Stevenson. “Their history of high-quality genre entertainment has directly inspired my work. To now be a part of their rich film library is surreal. I look forward to working with their team in releasing Rent-A-Pal. This movie is near and dear to my heart and I’m truly excited for the world to see it. And for the world to see a very different side of Wil Wheaton.”
In addition to writing and directing, Stevenson produces alongside Annie Elizabeth Baker, Jimmy Weber under Pretty People Pictures. J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules of BoulderLight Pictures served as executive producers.
The deal for the film was negotiated by EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films Arianna Bocco and Acquisitions Coordinator Adam Koehler with BoulderLight Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.