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Set in a dreary urban landscape of Edmonton, LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS is a dark comedy about a group of twentysomethings looking for love and meaning in the '90s. The film focuses on roommates David, a gay waiter who has has given up on his acting career, and Candy, a book reviewer who is also David's ex-lover. David and Candy's lives are entangled with those of David's friends (a busboy, a psychic dominatrix, and a misogynistic civil-servant) and Candy's dates (a male bartender and a lesbian schoolteacher). Meanwhile, a serial killer menaces the concrete and asphalt neighbourhood in which David and Candy live. Written by
There is, as many reviews have observed, a strong dark streak to this movie. The director it most recalls to me is John Landis (yeah, go ahead and howl about what a peasant I am). Arcand has the gift of exploring frivolous things in a bleak, gray kind of way, then turning round and exploring the horrors of life with a lighthearted touch.
The cast is, without exception, above average. Thomas Gibson, as David, is outstanding as the moody and self-deceptive center around whom the rest of the characters revolve. He talks a good nihilist, but his actions reflect more love in his character than he is willing to acknowledge. Gibson was already a strong and subtle actor in 1993. It was difficult to look at him and see Greg Montgomery, let alone Agent Hotchner of Criminal Minds.
Perhaps not the best scene, but the one I enjoy most, my "rewind scene," is the section where Candy is expecting a visitor, and one uninvited person after another shows up at the door. As Candy's interpersonal environment swings further and further out of control, David just grows bouncier, perkier, and more enthusiastic, like a gaunt Gen-X "Tigger."
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