Richard and CTV NewsChannel anchor Andrea Bain talk about the latest movies coming to VOD and streaming services, including the Dakota Johnson-Tracee Ellis Ross musical drama “The High Note,” the Midnight Madness ready “Dreamland,” the rom com riff of “All About Who You Know” and the implausible twists and turns of “Inheritance.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the Dakota Johnson-Tracee Ellis Ross musical drama “The High Note,” the Midnight Madness ready “Dreamland,” the rom com riff of “All About Who You Know” and the implausible twists and turns of “Inheritance.”
“All About Who You Know” takes a rom com premise and uses it to tell a story of ambition, cynicism and romance. But it’s not a rom com. It’s too meta for that. It’s a movie that follows the rom com rules but twists them to become a tribute to the kind of movies that inspired it.
Cole (Dylan Everett) is a film grad who sees life through a lens of movie references. His life is a series of imagined scenarios, ripped from the movies he is obsessed with. His dreams are that of many a film student. He wants to live and work in Los Angeles, writing screenplays that don’t follow the “same six storylines,” but he needs an in. When he meets Haley (Niamh Wilson), daughter of an Oscar winning screenwriter (David Hewlett) he contrives a rom com style hook up to get to her and her father. “It was all planned like some horses**t heist movie,” he says later. His scheme works but he soon realizes that real life and the movies are two very different things.
“All About Who You Know” takes a genre we’ve all seen and recontextualizes it with clever dialogue and characters who don’t behave as though they have just swigged from a bottle of love potion. They bare themselves in ways that no real rom com would allow. When he questions why she didn’t give him her phone number when they first met she says, “Because I wanted you to find me. I wanted you to prove that you wanted me. I am sick and tired of being obsessed with people who aren’t obsessed with me back.”
It is, as the tagline on the poster reads, “romantic-ish,” a movie that finds satisfaction in allowing the characters to behave true to form and not by allowing the form to dictate how the characters will behave. It’s a nervy take on the rom com genre and it works.
“All About Who You Know” is a clever movie that sometimes feels a little too self-aware and occasionally allows the pacing to go slack but a trio of lead performances from Everett, Wilson and Stephen Joffe as Cole’s BFF bring the film’s premise to shimmering life.
Add to that a sparkling indie soundtrack and you have something that isn’t a rom com—maybe we should call it a rom can’t—but a reinvention from Canadian writer-director Jake Horowitz.
“All About Who You Know,” which lost its festival run to the pandemic, can be now be found on Crave.
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at “Gemini Man,” “Lucky Day” and “Lucy in the Sky.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the high frame rate of “Gemini Man,” the high violence of “Lucky Day” and the high flying theatrics of “Lucy in the Sky” with CFRA morning show host Bill Carroll.
I suppose enough time has elapsed so that a film like “Lucky Day” can no longer be seen simply as a Quentin Tarantino rip off but can now be regarded as an homage to the crime movies of the 1990s, especially when it is directed by Roger Avary, the co-writer of “Pulp Fiction.”
The film takes place during one eventful and bloody day. It begins with Red (Luke Bracey), a safecracker with an artist wife Chloe (Nina Dobrev) and adorable daughter Beatrice (Ella Ryan Quinn), finishing up a two-year jail sentence for a heist gone wrong. As low lifes go he’s a decent sort. He’s a just a guy who robbed a bank and skimmed half a million bucks to look after his family.
Luc (Crispin Glover) doesn’t quite see it that way. He’s a hitman for a crime cartel called The Connection. “I’m in the retirement business,” he tells border security in his outrageous and completely fake French accent. He’s come to California to “retire” Red. Seems Luc’s brother was part of Red’s team but was killed in action and now the faux Frenchman has come to exact his revenge.
“Pulp Fiction,” for better and for worse, inspired a slew of imitators complete with over-the-top violence, groovy yet quirky soundtracks, old-school details and unusual characters. And don’t forget the irreverent, edgy and politically incorrect dialogue.
“Lucky Day” falls firmly into the Pretend “Pulp Fiction” category.
It’s a movie with all the bits and pieces of the Tarantino classic but with a tenth of the impact. To be fair, Avary pulls charming performances from the cast, crafting the kind of eccentric, cartoonish characters that fuel these kind of films but nothing really connects. From start to finish you know who will survive and who won’t so the stakes never seem very high even when Luc has nice people in the crosshairs of his gun.
In “Lucky Day” Avary has made a buoyant, if predictable thriller, efficiently told, with some laughs and a gallon or ten of blood to paint the screen. It’s not “Pulp Fiction” but then again, what is?