Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit,” the Disney+ education program “Weird But True,” “Let Him Go,” the Kevin Costner movie, now playing in theatres, the Hallmark parody “Cup of Cheer.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Kevin Costner family drama “Let Him Go” (in theatres), the Hallmark parody “Cup of Cheer” (streaming), the noir-ish “The Kid Detective” (Theatrical) and the minor-key “Major Arcana” (VOD).
“Cup of Cheer,” a new Christmas film available for free on Tubi for the next two weeks and playing now at drive-in theatres, is an extremely silly comedy that places Hallmark movie conventions—the meet cute, a random royal, time travel, the small-town holiday setting and more—under Santa’s magnifying glass, blowing them up large .
“I guess I should start at the beginning,” says Mary (Storm Steenson), a writer living in the big city (a mix of NYC stock shots and live action Toronto street scenes). “That’s when it all started. Funny how these things always start at the beginning.”
She’s about to be let go unless she can come up with a grabby idea for the magazine’s upcoming cover story. When she pitches a story about Christmas cheer and is randomly sent to Snowy Heights, a small town legendary for it’s cool yule. “Whatever you do don’t fall in love with some small town 8 out of 10 stranger and find the true meaning of Christmas,” says Mary’s editor. “I’ve lost too many reporters that way.”
Of course, that is exactly what happens as she begins a journey that involves Chris Smith (say it fast), the owner of Cup of Cheer, a main street hot cocoa shop that may be forced to close by Christmas if Mary’s rich ex-boyfriend goes through with his plan to open a rival café next door.
There’s more. Lot’s more, as Mary tries to save Cup of Cheer and Christmas.
Essentially “Cup of Cheer” is a series of bad puns strung together with tinsel. Its commitment to Christmas clichés, wordplay and double entendre gags is truly remarkable but Jake Horowitz, director and co-writer (with Andy Lewis), keeps things lively with quick pacing. If you care for a joke, don’t worry, there will be another one in ten seconds. Don’t be a Grinch. It’s a dizzying onslaught well delivered by a game cast.
“Cup of Cheer” feels like a sketch blown up to feature length and may be best enjoyed after a glass or two of your own cup of cheer of choice (unless you’re going to the drive in!).
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.