If I call this a romantic comedy, you’ll immediately think it’s crappy, so I won’t. It’s a really hilarious and natural Vancouver feature about Ewan (Tygh Runyan, the guy from the VIFF poster) trying to deal with his ex-girlfriend Charlotte (Laura Harris)’s wedding.
Runyan really pulls it off as the schmucky loser who can’t get a grip and get on with his life. He’s pathetic in a charming sort of way; you can read his thoughts as he tries repeatedly to choose the path least likely to bring him happiness. Unfortunately, he encounters Amy (Eryn Collins), a cutsie teenager who refuses to let him be a grump. Collins, a fabulous actress who was 17 during the production, sketches a precise character arc as Amy sneaks under Ewan’s skin, evolving from giggly teenager to somewhat-more-jaded as Ewan’s defences get nastier.
The gags all work, mostly due to Runyan’s blasÅ½ delivery. And the teenager / older guy thing, so horrifically warped for the gratification of the lecherous male producers of “American Beauty,” is played here with subtlety and grace without fleeing from real sexuality. No doltish-poetry moments with rose petals on the ceiling in “Come Together.” Neither is there the fetishistic-gratification-cum-moral-lesson as per the ending of “American Beauty.”
The final moment between Ewan and Charlotte is tense and romantic, and without spoiling I’ll say that the resolutions are all dramatically satisfying. This film isn’t too risky or edgy, but I watched it with my really-straight mom and both of us were thoroughly entertained.
It seems there are some technical problems with the final print, but I’ll let you decide for yourself when you see it – they’re certainly not worth avoiding the movie.