Stupid For You, a sophomore effort from musician-turn-filmmaker Jude Klassen, is an awkward movie. Sometimes deliberately, and sometimes unintentionally so.
In 2017, when Klassen’s feature-length debut Love in the Sixth came out, I encouraged the artist’s filmmaking foray. She collaborated with the equally competent Butler Brothers (First Round Down) to mould a story of conflicted romantic connections that leaped across different genres (comedy, documentary, musical). It was a hodgepodge, but an exciting and often very funny mixture of different ideas that made it one of the more unique indies in recent memory.
Klassen teams up with the Butlers again for her second feature, but the results don’t resonate as well. The film alternates between two character arcs, wallflower teen Kat and her ex-punk vocalist mother (Klassen as Mom and her child Mikhael Klassen-Kay playing Kat) as they muddle through their own struggling romances. These stories are sufficient enough to stand on their own, but they don’t mesh well together. These arcs are glued together with a series of misunderstandings and withheld information to further the plot, which may have been fine if Stupid For You was a sitcom. But for a movie’s narrative, it reads as being needlessly convoluted.
Klasen can’t help but add musical interludes to Stupid For You. While the variety of tunes is limited, the songs are cute and goofy and are usually given a fun retro boost. However, the musical sequences are juxtaposed in a way that don’t strongly compliment the narrative, but rather sideline the movie for Klassen and Klassen-Kay to showcase their artistic merits.
Catch Stupid For You at Toronto’s Inside Out LGBT Film Festival (in person and virtually) on:
Friday, May 27 at 4:45 p.m. @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
Click here to buy tickets.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie