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Right Kind of Wrong, The
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by Jaycie

"It's just wrong."
2 stars

Suppose, ladies, that a guy kept following you everywhere - including your workplace - hoping to get in your pants, despite your repeated refusals. Now suppose the first time he did this was at your own wedding. At some point, you would have called the authorities, right? The complete omission of this obvious course of action is one of many lapses in logic that makes The Right Kind of Wrong impossible to take seriously as a romance, a comedy or both.

Ryan Kwanten plays Leo, who, moments before securing his very first book deal, gave an editor the finger upon receiving some suggestions for changes. Since then, he's been working as a dishwasher, much to the chagrin of his wife, Julie (Kristen Hager), who begins writing a very popular blog about her grievances with him. At no point does Leo think to ask how she could dare reveal his name to the world, or how she could be so heartless as to stay married to him for writing material, so we'll drop this element of the plot - ostensibly the main element of the plot - as quickly as the movie does.

After Julie finally packs up and leaves, Leo meets Colette (Sara Canning) after she, fully dressed in bridal attire, punts a football back to his precocious tween neighbours (Mateen Devji and Maya Samy). This is enough for Leo to get dressed in his excuse for formal wear, slip into the church, strike up a rapport with Colette's mother (a particularly haggard Catherine O'Hara), watch Colette marry the absolutely flawless Danny (Ryan McPartlin) and then, when he catches her in a solitary moment, ask her on a date.

No, really.

And then she punches Leo after he insults Danny to his face, but he keeps asking her out and sending her gifts, including to their honeymoon destination.

Seriously, that happens.

But, gradually, Colette realizes what a privileged, back-slapping loaf of Wonder Bread she married (after four months), and how much more principled (self-righteous) and independent (annoying) Leo is - just like her.

I swear to all the gods that I did not make one word of that up.

There are also some wacky hijinks involving the above-noted precocious tweens vs. Danny's BFF's little brother; a subplot involving Leo's best friend and editor (Will Sasso), who believes his wife (Jennifer Baxter) is cheating on him with Danny's other BFF; random appearances of the elusive "ghost bear"; Leo's anguish at Julie taking one of their two cats with her; Colette's torrid relationship with her mother; and many jokes based entirely around the word "balls."

One could devote an entire master's thesis to the problems with the characters and the story, but let's focus on the movie's pluses. The direction of Jeremiah S. Chechik is mostly solid, primarily in the very well-designed opening credits animation and the scenes set in the gorgeous Alberta mountains. (Why does Leo, he of the crippling acrophobia, live in the mountains? I have no idea.) Despite what they've been given to work with, each actor does their best to make it dance, especially Canning, who has more than enough personality to warrant better scripts. That's about it. The rest is a smoldering pile of WTF.

The Right Kind of Wrong is an adaptation of Tim Sandlin's novel Sex and Sunsets, in which the psychological abnormalities of the Leo character are treated as actual possibilities, instead of glossed over with the occasional "Are you crazy?" In both versions, however, the reader/viewer is meant to forgive whatever is wrong with this guy on account of how "cute" and "lovable" he is. While Kwanten does have the face of a lonely puppy you want to take home, and Leo seems like a fun guy right when you spot him at the bar, his issues with women, gainful employment and the world in general are such that you would make an excuse to leave within ten minutes, if you were sober enough.

And that's exactly where the wrong in The Right Kind of Wrong lies. It insists it's simply a light and fluffy romantic comedy instead of the apologia for stalking, character assassination and general obnoxiousness that it is. But if two people who are into that sort of thing can find love - or at least hot mountain sex - I guess there's hope for the rest of us.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=25982&reviewer=432
originally posted: 06/17/14 11:32:03
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Toronto International Film Festival For more in the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Vancouver International Film Festival For more in the 2013 Vancouver International Film Festival series, click here.

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  14-Mar-2014 (R)
  DVD: 20-May-2014


  DVD: 20-May-2014

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