With the full frontal nudity comes the first tip-off that “Inertia” is different from the vast majority of romantic comedies rattling around out there in indie land. That’s because the nude is a dude. Joseph (Jonas Cherik), to be more specific; a guy who, on the morning after having sex with his ex-girlfriend Sarah (Sarah Constible) is, pardon the pun, playing hardball. He’s holding her shoe in a strategic location, you see. And as director Sean Garrity’s quirky, matter-of-fact deconstruction of the romantic comedy genre takes place in a wintry Winnipeg, she’s not going anywhere until he returns it to her.
It’s the last clear cut moment there is in this morally ambiguous, weirdly affecting comedy. For when Joseph’s best friend Bruce (Gordon Tanner), now unhappily married, gets the hots for his buddy’s doe-eyed crew cut-coifed cousin Alex (Micheline Marchildon), who puts the moves on Joseph, who still lusts after Sarah, who wants to rekindle an old romance with Bruce, “Inertia” quickly winds itself up into a romantic dodecahedron that’s tougher to straighten out than a Rubik’s Cube.
“Inertia” is a strangely memorable film, possibly because Garrity’s no-frills, leaning towards stark settings allow these complicated characters to stand out. Awkward, yes, and even embarrassing to watch these otherwise seemingly sane, normal people pillory themselves on their altars of unrequited love. Oh, and it’s oftentimes funny as hell to boot.
Featuring a fine cast of unknowns in a bare bones film probably too few people will ever get to see, here’s hoping that “Inertia” overcomes inertia and makes its way to a theater near you.