Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a pair of mismatched people are brought together by a shared tragic experience and embark on a trip and wackiness ensues. Sound familiar?
Of course it does. We’ve seen movies built around this kind of story a million times and while Jordan Canning’s film Suck It Up never makes any attempts to transcend its genre trappings, it’s at least sporadically amusing.
Ronnie (Grace Glowicki) is a bit of a disaster, following the death of her brother Garrett, who recently died of cancer. She can’t make it through the day without having a drink – or half a dozen. She wakes up and pours booze into her juice or coffee, trying to pass it off as just having fun and not needing substances to cope. After a run-in with a lawnmower, her mother (Nancy Kerr) reaches out to Garrett’s ex-girlfriend, Faye (Erin Margurite Carter), who tries to intervene with Ronnie’s bad behavior.
“We’ve seen movies built around this kind of story a million times and while Jordan Canning’s film Suck It Up never makes any attempts to transcend its genre trappings, it’s at least sporadically amusing.”
Faye decides to hit the road with Ronnie, hoping a change a scenery could do the both a world of good. They drive out to a lake house owned by Ronnie’s family with the hopes of Ronnie cleaning up a bit and Faye taking a much needed deep breath on the cusp of applying for a teaching position. It doesn’t take long for Ronnie to search out her next party, dip into the old liquor cabinet or score some weed in town. Faye reluctantly obliges and joins along on some of her conquests.
At its forefront, Suck It Up is a broad buddy-comedy of mishaps and personality clashes, which grows thin after a bit. First time scribe Julia Hoff’s screenplay offers glimmers of something deeper among the characters and how they are truly handling Garrett’s death beneath the surface. That’s where Suck It Up works best and if the script could have a expounded on the character’s arcs it would have been a much stronger film.
Carter and Glowicki play their parts with a liveliness that brings them out of their written archetypes. Carter gets to flex a little bit more as Faye and does so well in her first role. Most of the talent involved in the movie are working on their first feature and while Suck It Up doesn’t always work as a whole, it has enough parts to serve as their calling card.
Suck It Up (2017) Directed by Jordan Canning. Written by Julia Hoff. Starring Grace Glowicki and Erin Margurite Carter.