A high school slacker who's rejected by every school he applies to opts to create his own institution of higher learning, the South Harmon Institute of Technology, on a rundown piece of property near his hometown.
Twenty-nine year old Vancouverite Ryan Arlen is floundering in life. As a result, his girlfriend dumps him, she kicks him out of their apartment, and he is suspended from his mindless office job all on the same day. But Ryan thinks his life is turning around when out of a fluke of circumstances he is offered a job working for the provincial lottery corporation, and his real estate developer brother, with who he has a somewhat strained relationship, allows him to be the live-in caretaker of an empty upscale condo complex. After the initial euphoria, Ryan questions whether these new situations are just a continuation of his boring middle class existence, especially when others around him, such as his parents (his father who also recently lost his job) and his best friend, a slacker named Spike, are displaying a new found entrepreneurial spirit regardless of the actual business ventures. So when Bryce, a golf course designer that he met recently, offers him a lucrative business ... Written by
The appreciation comes from your own life experiences
This movie was remarkably funny and the actors are generally excellent. This falls into one of those "20-something angst movies" (Old Joy, etc). It's the universal theme of trying to figure out: 1) where you are now, 2) where you want to be, and 3) how to get there.
The editing was inspired and I loved much of the dialog. Not everything was perfect, some of the scenes could have been shot from a better angle, etc., but overall, it was pretty good.
The main thing I most liked about it was that it wasn't "consistent"; it oscillated between funny, sad, poignant, ridiculous, ironic and silly. It moved slow sometimes, then fast, sort of backwards, sideways and forward (two steps back, three steps forward). The whale scene was shot in a stylized, dreamy sort of way and if you've ever lived through a strange moment in your own life where time seems to not quite be real -- well, that's this scene.
There's a lot of "indie" elements and by American standards, it's not a big budget flick; it also (refreshingly) doesn't treat the viewer like a moron as so many American movies do.
It was messy and mundane. Lots of ludicrous moments; just like life and that's what made it interesting. If you've experienced working in a cubical city, known people who've fasted on the "Master Cleanse" diet, dealt with obsessively self-absorbed people, or seen the light at the end of the tunnel only to realize that the ethics may not be so good to get you there you'll enjoy this movie.
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