No Men Beyond This Point is a Canadian comedy that isn’t constantly funny as it is consistently clever.
Mark Sawers’ film takes place within an alternate reality where women inhabit asexual desires, and can become impregnated without the assistance of a man. Understandably, this reroute has men all over the world nervous and reacting in extremist ways. They’re either worried and paranoid or banding together to form a coalition. As for 37-year old Andrew Myers, the youngest man in the world, he’s thankful to be efficient while tending to a family of women.
No Men Beyond This Point, I suppose, could be classified as science fiction, but it’s a softer example – ala The Truman Show. The audience can tell there’s something more in store for Andrew Myers, but we enjoy watching him accept the gratitude from others – always with an unfazed look on his face. Sawers’ screenplay isn’t interested in the “laugh-a-minute” approach. The filmmaker would rather establish the environment first, and then draw out the apparent differences in a straight manner; making the eccentricities in the “documentary” that much more amusing.
This dry handling of such absurdity makes movie goers temporarily confused when No Men Beyond This Point hits the broad side of the premise with other flippant humour, but the audience still laughs and is eager to stick with Sawers’ wild ride.
No Men Beyond This Point has the potential to be a sleeper hit of the season. It’s the type of peculiar, wry film you discover through word-of-mouth at your local rep cinema. In this case, however, Mark Sawers quirky film is getting screen time at Toronto’s fancy TIFF Bell Lightbox. Maybe that’s a testament to how well Sawers can professionally blend his satire.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie