Dr. Sam Frizzell lives alone with his eighteen year old daughter Ariel Frizzell in the upper middle class Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver. Sam has dated little since his wife died when ... See full summary »
Dr. Sam Frizzell lives alone with his eighteen year old daughter Ariel Frizzell in the upper middle class Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver. Sam has dated little since his wife died when Ariel was a young child, he instead focusing his attentions on his daughter. With the exception of sex, Ariel has almost become a surrogate wife for Sam. Ariel, on the other hand, has taken that role one step further, she who has an Electra complex. Ariel has had behavior issues, in large part due to the circumstances around her mother's death and the way Sam has treated her since. As such, she has no real friends and she is home schooled by a tutor - a young man named Markus who often cannot control his student - as she couldn't function within a school environment. Into their lives comes Mary. As their third date, Sam thinks it would be a good idea for Mary to come to his house to meet Ariel. Mary's already tenuous dating life takes a step backward when Ariel is openly hostile toward Mary over ... Written by
perhaps not at it's finest, but this is what having a film industry based on government grants and corporate sponsorship will get you. This is not a movie for the masses, but it is very representative of Canadian cinema, odd, uncompromising to a fault and a little too tidy. I agree with Jay Alexander review where he faults the film being too clean looking, the same subject in the hands of a Guy Ritchie or Quentin Tarantino would look much different. Looks like it was shot of digital video, but I'm not sure. At the same time this movie is unflinchingly ugly, yes it has topless boxing, but some of the women you really wish would put their shirts back on (and if you saw the film, you know who I'm talking about). However, this is something you would NEVER see in a Hollywood film, an ugly female in a positive role? fugetaboutit. You will get plenty of ugly fat men baring it all, but never women. For this I applaud the filmmakers for their boldness, although I found it very hard to watch. I also found some of the boxing scenes verging on "Rocky" territory, which hurts the presentation.
The subject matter is intriguing as well and rarely explored, that is female violence against females, but not in a cutesy "cat-fight" hair pulling way, this is all out pounding the sh*t out of each other. I remember seeing a documentary about young women these days how there is almost as many cases of female bullying and gang violence as there is male, but we don't hear about it as much. As we break down barriers between the sexes, these are some of the results.
Much of the dialogue is odd, and as one reviewer noted very "Hal Hartley" like, although with a Canadian spin. How many movies would you see a scene of a beautiful and well toned female pump starting a lawn mower yelling "I think the alternator's fucked" as father looks on? There are lots of scenes like this, and when they work, they work wonderfully, but when they don't they fall pretty flat. The acting is very good, although the males are portrayed as either wimpy or complete *ssholes. Meredith McGeachie does a convincing job as the lesbian boxing champion that nobody can beat, her boxing moves looked real and not like a female trying to pretend to fight like a man (as Sonja Bennett does). And is it me or does she look strikingly similar to Jerri from Survivor a few years back? Overall an interesting yet flawed film, and oh so Canadian, representing what many see as the horrible state of Canadian cinema, for others a viable alternative to Hollywood pablum.
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