In Geordie Sabbagh’s indie A Sunday Kind of Love, the audience follows an aloof, cynical author Adam (played by Dylan Taylor) as he struggles through his writer’s block and procrastinates. His girlfriend Tracy (played by Meghan Heffern) tries to motivate him, but his moping is unstoppable. He retreats to a nearby coffee shop and meets Emma (played by Melanie Scrofano), who presents herself as an admirer and soon reveals that she’s actually, well, death (sans black cloak and scythe).
As he tosses and turns between woefully anticipating his demise and bittersweet acceptance, Adam and Emma kill time (mind the pun) walking around Toronto and exploring existential topics. Unexpectedly, romance sparks.
Cut from the same cloth as last year’s lofty Porch Stories, A Sunday Kind of Love captures Toronto with embraceable charisma – an optimistic reminder that transports Torontonians away from a damp season-splitting reality they’re trudging through at the moment. Sabbagh’s screenplay is intelligent and vulnerable, and the filmmaker’s shooting style has a fun spontaneity to it (especially during those public exchanges on busy sidewalks). It’s the Neveldine/Taylor/Nora Ephron rom-com you thought you’d never see.
Taylor and Scrofano make a great pair as they bounce ideas off one another. It makes me wonder if the performers are experienced with stage and improvisational work – they are very comfortable with the material and company. It’s a relationship where the audience believes that the coy glances are true. When Adam and Emma acknowledge the inevitable tragedy into their equation, the contemplations are well thought out along with mixed feelings that tug at our emotions.
The general takeover of a serious atmosphere during A Sunday Kind of Love’s final leg is a disadvantage though. Sabbagh’s concluding beats are so sombre, I was wishing he would’ve traded in tears for the lighter heart that caught my attention in the first place. Nonetheless, the promising filmmaker successfully wraps up his loose ends and sends the audience home feeling elated with where Canadian independent cinema is headed.
A Sunday Kind of Love opens at Toronto’s Carlton Cinema on Friday, April 15. Filmmaker and cast Q&As will follow after Friday and Saturday’s P.M. screenings.
Read Wylie Writes’ interview with filmmaker writer/director Geordie Sabbagh here!
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