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1 review, 1 rating

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Love and Other Dilemmas
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by Jason Whyte

"Is there really a reason for this?"
1 stars

Worst movie of 2007. When it comes to the rather numerous amount of English Canadian-exclusive films that get released every year either at film festivals or at limited runs at one or two screens in major cities, some can be good or even great, while a good number of them are so poorly put together that they can be an embarassment. The films are usually a far cry from the beautifully-directed, well acted films from the States, from foreign countries, or even from Quebec which come from a completely independent industry from the rest of the country, which seems to focus on low-budget character studies.

Not all are bad. Gavin Heffernan is a Canadian filmmaker who made one of the best Canadian films of the decade (“Expiration”) and in 2006 Christopher Warre Smets wowed me with his nil-budget “The Overlookers” which was a smack in the face to something like “Falling Angels”, a movie that I negatively reviewed back in 2003 and received a lot of flack for, mostly by friends of the production.

I consider myself a nice guy, but there some are so awful that I just have to write about them; Larry Di Stefano’s “Love and Other Dilemmas” is one of those Canadian films that makes you angry that you are forced to pay into the Canadian Film Tax Credit just to have garbage like this produced.

It’s a Vancouver-shot comedy that trades laughs for a nonsense plot about a wedding that involves 8-month pregnant Ginger (Gabrielle Miller) who has a husband named Henry (Stephen Lobo) who has ties to crime. There’s also an inept crook (Fred Ewanick, a funny Vancouver actor who was in “The Delicate Art of Parking” back in 2004 and is now the star of “Corner Gas”) who is asked to tail Ginger. Are you lining up yet?

There’s also a crook named Bart (John Cassini) who dies early in the picture and then suddenly rematerializes in a horrific effects sequence where Bart stands up over his dead body. Woody Allen’s earlier comedies had some similar effects and I admired them there, but that was Allen subtly poking fun at his own shoddy effects work…not to mention that was over thirty years ago.

Here’s a movie so bad that after one of the screenings at last year’s Vancouver International Film Festival, the director slowly walked up to the front and wasn’t asked any questions. Nothing. A silent, small group of people that were mostly tied to the production, and myself standing in the back slightly chuckling. And because of this silence, the director desperately tried to do something, to which his wife then popped up to share some “antecdotes” about the film since she was involved in the picture. The Q&A ended three minutes later.

The entire cast isn’t fully to blame for this mess, although I question why they couldn’t be busy on other projects. Gabrielle Miller is a lovely actress but anyone could have played her Ginger character. John Cassini is a delight to meet in person yet you couldn’t buy anything he says or does in the film (you’d think he doesn’t either). Erin Karpluk, playing a hairdresser, is a lovely actress who I have met on several occasions. She no doubt has a future and yet has none of her talents on display in this film. Do I have to write her a part myself so she doesn’t have to appear in such inferior material?

The film has a distributor (Thinkfilm) and has a release this summer, yet I have no idea why any studio would choose to purchase a film like this. I can see it now…”Love and Other Dilemmas earns a whopping $19,475 in two weeks of release at the Carlton Cinemas in Toronto and the Tinseltown in Vancouver. Watch for the pan-and-scan DVD release in two weeks.” What a bad shot in the arm to a film industry that is in desperate need of a good one.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=16143&reviewer=350
originally posted: 04/13/07 14:01:24
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Vancouver Film Festival For more in the 2006 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/18/08 Anne Bove awesome movie despite what latest reviews state 5 stars
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  22-Jun-2007 (PG)



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