By: Addison Wylie
Dov Tiefenbach is the Sasquatch of cinema. He materializes in random movies, showing his unmistakable mug just long enough for movie goers to do a double take. As soon as we realize who he is, Tiefenbach vanishes. Because of this, I used to think YTV’s Squawk Box was a figment of my imagination. But, I digress.
Tiefenbach has come out of hiding to star in Pretend We’re Kissing, an odd romance directed by Matt Sadowski.
Pretend We’re Kissing prides itself in awkwardness. This is a story about neurotic whiner Benny who has a weak backbone from slouching and not speaking up. The bulk of Benny’s dialogue is spoken through inner monologue, which gives the audience a clear view of how Benny sees the world as well as how agitated his personality is.
When he’s not being taken advantage of by his impromptu roommate Autumn (played by Zoë Kravitz), Benny finds himself crushing on local concertgoer Jordan (played by Tommie-Amber Pirie). Sadowski (who also wrote the honest screenplay) does a bang-up job characterizing his cast. Benny, for instance, is never a likeable person, but he’s always believable with every nuance the filmmaker and Tiefenbach execute.
The film’s landscape of recognizable Toronto hot spots will gain smirks from an audience who can easily picture themselves (or their graceless buddies) in the movie.
Sadowski loves to stew in awkwardness, which only becomes a problem when it affects the pacing. Otherwise, Pretend We’re Kissing is an eccentric, mild-mannered romance with strangely relatable characters.
Canadian Film Festival ’15 Coverage: