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.
Ninety-three years ago Balsam Lake, a long and narrow body of water located in in the City of Kawartha Lakes in Central Ontario, made worldwide headlines when a freak summer storm brought tragedy to a group of men canoeing on its waters. The story, largely forgotten today, is brought back to vivid life in “Brotherhood,” a new film from director Richard Bell.
It’s the year 1926. A group of young men, many teens among them, are spending the hot and steamy July at Long Point Camp on what now might be called an eco-adventure but was then thought of as two weeks of male bonding, canoeing, sing-alongs and character building. Led by Great War veterans Arthur (Brendan Fletcher) and Robert (Brendan Fehr) they head out on a routine expedition in a thirty-foot canoe to gather supplies but capsized off Grand Island. For hours the group, the team leaders and thirteen boys, fought against the cold, unforgiving waters for survival.
“Brotherhood” begins with a buoyant boyhood feel of anticipation. The campers are excited, friendships are building, the tone is very Heritage Minute. From there Bell flashes back and forth from the good times on dry land to the struggle on the open water. It’s an effective treatment that ups the stakes. It allows the viewer get a clear and concise before-and-after look at the boys as they change from young men into adults over the course of one very difficult night. Heroes are formed in adversity and the survivors, just four, become a band of brothers, thrown together by fate.
Along the way the script provides plenty of foreshadowing. People say things like, “a hero is just a man too afraid to run away,” and one even quotes Shakespeare’s famous “Henry V” “For he today that sheds his blood with me/Shall be my brother,” speech. It feels heavy handed and melodramatic by times but there is no denying the power of the film’s message of strength by community.