18 year-old Peter lives with his parents in a middle-class Toronto suburb and rebels constantly against their imposed middle-class goals and conventions and the materialist values they represent. He constantly mocks and belittles his family with his only real ally being his girlfriend Julie. Peter's relationship with his parents reaches its boiling point when he borrows his father's new car without permission and is left by him to spend the night in jail after Peter is arrested for reckless driving. Peter runs away from home and moves into a rooming house, and eventually gets a shady job as a parking attendant. His relationship with Julie becomes exponentially more complicated and he finally realizes that being alone in the real world is much harder than he ever imagined.Written by
I really don't know where I want to go or what I want to do, but I can tell you, without a minute's hesitation what I don't want to do. I don't want to fall into the rut my parents are in... , even if on the surface it looks so beautiful, even if it's just the the kind of life we would like to lead. We have a comfortable home, we have gold handles in the bathroom, we have a good school, we are well dressed, we have good shoes, we have good pants always well pressed. That's exactly what I don't ...
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This is now undoubtedly the oldest feature length Canadian film I've seen- Canadian film didn't really get rolling until the 1970s, with Going' Down the Road and Mon oncle Antoine, which is why this is the oldest non-documentary on the Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time when TIFF started the list in 1984. It dropped off the list quickly, with one critic saying it hasn't aged well. Indeed, it's gotten few votes on IMDb and fewer reviews, but it is available to see for free on the National Film Board's website.
At first I could see where the comment about it being aged comes into play; it starts out feeling like something more out of a '50s public service ad than the '60s, with the straight-laced square father and the not-really rebellious son, neither of whom act spectacularly well. His "rebellion" against materialism feels old, tired and disingenuous. Things start getting a little more interesting when the son is arrested, and more troubles with the law start. There's a nice, artistic little sequence where he and his girlfriend sing Show Me the Way to Go Home- over 10 years before the great scene in Jaws. What I particularly liked was the lead's argument with the French Canadian about individuality and identity- that feels significant and pretty Canadian. An interesting film, and a curiosity to the Canadian film buff.
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