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Saint Frances

We’ve all seen a movie that pairs an uncomfortable adult with a precocious child, and usually the humour stems from their awkwardness that develops into an endearing dynamic as their chemistry develops. Saint Frances is no different, and about halfway through the movie I thought I had Alex Thompson’s film figured out. Little did I know that the film was quietly providing the groundwork for inspiring feministic themes that would elevate the material above its…

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The Princess Switch: Switched Again

The original cast, director, and screenwriters from Netflix’s surprise hit The Princess Switch have reunited for The Princess Switch: Switched Again to offer fan service for at-home viewers.  But even though the production remembers what tickled audiences the first time around, they have failed to capture the same spark in this rusty sequel.

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Roobha

Lenin M. Sivam’s Roobha explores two intersecting narratives: one, a young dancer, Roobha (Amrit Sandhu), a transgender woman living on the streets;  two, an older bartender Antony (Jesuthasan Antonythasan) whose poor lifestyle choices have severally worsened his health.  The two unexpectedly fall in love, creating tension in both characters’ lives.

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The Climb

By: Trevor Chartrand Based on a short film of the same name, The Climb was written and performed by Michael Angelo Covino and Kyle Marvin.  Covino also directed the film, which chronicles the life and times of a dysfunctional friendship over the course of many years.  In the film, Kyle (Marvin) and Mike (Covino) are long-time best friends who slowly drift apart – and then back together again – after Mike admits to sleeping with…

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My Dad’s Christmas Date

Recently, I reviewed the hilariously spot-on holly-jolly spoof Cup of Cheer.  The comedy did such a good job calling out tropes, clichés, and lazy writing found in Christmas movies.  What it didn’t do, and what I realized after watching My Dad’s Christmas Date, is that Cup of Cheer didn’t poke fun at deceptive movies that bait viewers with seasonal qualities to dress up an otherwise dismal story.  If My Dad’s Christmas Date didn’t occasionally show…

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Dinner with Friends

In an unremarkable directorial debut from actor Nicol Paone, and randomly produced by The Heartbreak Kid co-stars Ben Stiller and Malin Akerman, Dinner with Friends features pals Molly and Abby (Akerman, Kat Dennings) hosting a small Thanksgiving that gradually becomes more outrageous as the night progresses.  The guest list grows, and the entertainment evolves the get-together into more of a party where magic mushrooms and sexcapades become a primary topic of discussion.  There isn’t much…

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The Kid Detective

The Kid Detective has done the best job, in recent memory, explaining why a mystery’s leading sleuth is such a sad sack.  The enigmatic and eccentric personality has become such a cliché in the genre, that the audience just expects and accepts the detective to be grizzled, or unhappy, or an unpredictable hot head.  In The Kid Detective, Abe Applebaum (Adam Brody) carries those traits, but writer/director Evan Morgan provides compelling motivation which fuels Brody’s top-form…

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The Cuban

By: Trevor Chartrand The Cuban explores the burgeoning friendship between a pre-med nurse, Mina (Ana Golja), and the elderly man she’s assigned to take care of (Louis Gossett Jr.) after she takes a job at a retirement home.  Her charge turns out to be a stubborn, guarded man named Luis Garcia;  a man plagued by Alzheimer’s, with a side order of dementia to boot.  As the two spend more and more time together, Mina discovers…

Reviews

Cup of Cheer

How do you satirize a genre that’s become a spoof of itself?  It isn’t an impossible trick but, to pull it off, it takes a keen eye for detail and a filmmaker who can thread the needle between appreciation and cynicism.  2014’s They Came Together, a comedy from the creators of Wet Hot American Summer that hilariously destroyed the rom-com genre, is the bellwether for me, and this year’s clever seasonal spoof Cup of Cheer…