Sundowners is an exceptional movie headlined by two unexceptional people – hey, their words. Not mine.
This epiphany between Alex (Phil Hanley) and Justin (Luke Lalonde) happens early on in their trip to Mexico where they’ve been hired to shoot a destination wedding. They’re assigned the job by Alex’s boss Tom, played with the best blowhard gusto comedian Tim Heidecker can only provide.
Alex and Justin wallow in their self-proclaimed insignificance, and they halfheartedly accept this parallel. It’s their personal reality check, and they use it to strike up conversation, make each other laugh, and provide commentary on the life around them. They’re humble and far from smug, making this friendship a pleasure to watch.
Others perceive this pair as an escape. Those people won’t admit it but, then again, maybe they don’t realize it. Within minutes of meeting Alex and Justin, strangers willingly confide in them with secrets and struggles. These confessions are uncomfortable for the two guys (especially since they gradually discover how dysfunctional the wedding party is), but for a moment, they realize how important their presence is to someone else.
Sundowners is a movie of moments. Both in how writer/director/editor Pavan Moondi has constructed his winning comedy, and the realist albeit optimistic conclusion Alex and Justin mutually realize after their gig is finished and they sink back into their routine. Sundowners is often hilarious, occasionally meditative, and it’s one of my favourite movies of the year.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie