Audiences were recently subjected to a tasteless dark comedy about understanding death called Considering Love & Other Magic. Thankfully, movie goers can rebound with Suck It Up, another Canadian indie about comprehending grief that actually sticks its landing thanks to fantastic performances and Jordan Canning’s thoughtful direction.
Suck It Up is pitched as a dark comedy too, although that would suggest the film is edgy which it isn’t entirely. Its humour is risqué, but Canning and screenwriter Julia Hoff have a softer approach that has more of a nurturing dramedy feel to it. It’s also a road trip movie, allowing the film to open itself up to naturalistic filmmaking and wonderful scenery of British Columbia.
Ronnie and Faye embark on this trip to Invermere, BC after the death of Garrett, Ronnie’s brother and Faye’s boyfriend from a relationship that frittered away long before his demise. While Faye has suppressed her sadness, Ronnie turns to alcohol for comfort and develops a daily habit of being borderline blackout drunk. Though the trip would seem like an intervention at first, clean-cut Faye (Erin Carter) simply wants to help belligerent Ronnie (Grace Glowicki) shake her alcoholism by visiting a familiar vacation spot.
Though their roles may be too on the nose regarding their clashing personalities and arguments, all-stars Carter and Glowicki – who turn in two of the best performances of the year – work well off each other; always giving their on-screen partner material to play off of. These reactions reopen wounds for these tender characters to face the turning point at large, along with other personal fears that are going through inevitable changes. Additionally, Dan Beirne and Toby Marks, as humbling townsfolk who have a past with Ronnie, have affectionate scenes that help support the story and the film’s subtle touches.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie