A sexy urban comedy about how a guy who is addicted to watching pornography discovers love is stronger than fantasy when he meets and falls in love with the girl of his dreams. Written by
I am so glad I discovered this gem of Canadian cinema. The performances, especially by the two leads, Hill Harper and Marlyne Afflack in the roles of Michael and Jasmine, were gripping and heartfelt. Harper and Afflack were so natural and appealing in portraying the chemistry and the many emotional upheavals of their characters' relationship, that I found myself rooting for this couple to survive against all the odds (Michael is addicted to porn and a regular customer of the video store Pornucopia). The film explores some thought-provoking and somewhat dark themes, such as obsession, sexual dysfunction, escapism and the frustrations of aspiring artists. But comedic touches abound: Mark Taylor (Romeo in the sitcom Student Bodies) puts on a very respectable "Jafakin" accent as Michael's mama's boy/playa friend; there's outrageously campy fake porn scenes from Michael's imagination and from the tapes he loves and much, much more. As a Jamaican Canadian, I loved the elements of black Canadian culture that shine through in the film: the dance hall songs in the soundtrack, eating chicken bones, Caribbean slang, Haitian Creole, lack of punctuality...The black characters also experience the subtle, but damaging form of racism prevalent in Canada when they are dismissed and typecast. However, the viewer is constantly reminded that black people are and will always be an integral part of Canadian life: the characters speak to each other in English and French, Barenaked Ladies and hip hop go hand in hand and hockey brings everyone together. Sudz Sutherland deserves some serious props for his screen writing/direction: the film is well-paced, nice to look at, smart, sexy, stylistically innovative in blurring the lines between fantasy and reality and full of wry, self-mocking, distinctively Canadian humour. I was very satisfied with the quality of the DVD in general, which includes an insightful making-of featurette, but the quiet sound and lack of subtitles were disappointing. I recommend this film highly to all film lovers and especially people who like their romantic comedies with a strong twist (think of Mambo Italiano, another Canadian classic).
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