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At Home By Myself...With You
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by Jason Whyte

"Wonderfully inspired, funny Canadian comedy worth looking out for."
5 stars

Watching a lot of movies at film festivals, one can tend to let a film slip by under my radar or because of one reason or another. I made a point to see “At Home By Myself…With You” based on a brief interview I did with the film’s director, Kris Booth, and hearing about his story in getting this film made with “pocket change” (more on that later). I see a smorgasbord of small films from independent filmmakers, and it was a joy to see a film completely win over me with such limited financial means.

Romy (Kristin Booth) is a 30 year old woman who has quite a few phobias and a troubled past. Led to believe that her actions have resulted in the death of her parents (and her dog), she has the terrible phobia of not only going outside, but leaving her apartment. She decides to keep her entire life indoors, limiting her boundaries to her front door and the delivery guy. Working, ironically, as a travel agent, her life is secluded until a new neighbor (Aaron Abrams) moves in across the way. He is not named in the film, so let’s just go with the IMDB page and call him Guy.

The idea reminded me a bit of Gary Burns’ film “Waydowntown” from 2000 which was about a group of people in Calgary’s walkway-connected Plus 15 system who refused to go outdoors. When you have everything you need and what is needed can be delivered to you, is there a real reason to go out? This one takes it a step further and makes one think about the possibility of really never having to set foot outside your house or apartment ever again. Think about it; with phones and the internet at one’s disposal, everything is within reach now.

This is one of the more minor aspects of the film, as it is more about Romy’s fears of commitment and moving on with her life. Her meeting with Guy and the budding relationship triggers a desire to try to branch out, but it’s not as simple as one thinks. To say that chaos ensues would be understating it; there is much comedy and great human moments in Ramona Barckert’s screenplay that we really care about what happens with Romy’s plight.

The film was only made for $40,000 from and looks over ten times that; the trick, I think, is how Kris Booth and his team work with their limited resources and make the film fly. Using the limited money that they have, the style is very of course indie, shot digitally with very few sets and locations, but the look works in the film’s favor. I also greatly admired loved the sporadic animated sequences which have a cool roughness to them, the lively music score which punctuates the comic mood perfectly, and the narration by Canadian icon Gordon Pinsent (“Away From Her”).

What is also wonderful is how deeply we care about the two leads. Both Romy and Guy are two fleshed out characters with their own issues and ideals, and they have honest, three dimensions to them. There’s a scene that’s remarkably powerful when Romy shows her true agoraphobia after Guy tries to carry her outside her apartment, and it is quite powerful to see. It is also interesting to note that both Kristin Booth and Aaron Abrams starred in the multi-character comedy “Young People Fucking” from 2008, although they had no scenes together.

“At Home By Myself…With You” is a gem of a film; so funny, so sweet, so wonderfully likable that you can’t help but be swept up by its charms. This is the kind of romantic comedy that I wish more audiences would see, as this has more wit and intelligence, not to mention bigger laughs, than the recent “Valentine’s Day” and “When in Rome” put together. While it is in a small release pattern with a DVD to come, I sure hope that audiences find this as they did with “One Week”, one of my other favorite recent releases from Canada that turned out to be a hit. This is a classic in the making.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=20358&reviewer=350
originally posted: 02/17/10 14:01:34
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User Comments

3/08/10 Tom Bochsler Excellen, production, acting photography, lighting, editing quality of image, audio, etc. C 5 stars
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  05-Mar-2010 (PG)



[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  Kris Booth

Written by
  Ramona Barckert

  Kristin Booth
  Aaron Abrahams

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