VIFF 2014 Review: Preggoland

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You know that moment when you realize you’re so deep into a lie there’s no easy way to turn back? Preggoland is exactly that. Except it’s also much more than that.

Sonja Bennett stars as Ruth, a single 30 something who lives at home with her dad. All of her friends are married with kids and her younger sister is the bane of her existence, making Ruth feel like a teenager and in a way, she is. She works at a local grocery store where she’s worked since high school, she hangs out with co-workers who are half her age and generally doesn’t appear to be doing much with her life. And then she’s mistaken for being pregnant. And she goes along with it. But then she tells her friends she’s pregnant and then suddenly her life seems to be taking on some meaning and actually moving forward except the whole time she’s living one big sham and lying to everyone.

The idea of going along with a misconception isn’t exactly new but Bennett, who also wrote the script, brings a charm and likability to Preggoland which I haven’t seen in other movies which feature the female version of the “man child.” Part of it is Bennett herself who fully commits to the role an delivers a great performance complete with outstanding comedic timing, but there’s also the script which takes a ridiculous premise and goes in some interesting directions with it exploring everything from friendship to strange and complicated family relationships and though it ends with a sort of happily ever after, it earns that ending.

Preggoland reminded me a little of Starbuck, that other Canadian gem from a few years ago. It features similar characters with similar story arcs about growing up and becoming better versions of themselves and I expect that when this lands a Hollywood re-make, it will turn out just as badly as the Starbuck one did. Thankfully, we’ll always have the original.

Preggoland has been picked up by Mongrel Media who will open the film Spring 2015.

Trailer: Detachment

The most screechingly melodramatic trailer you’re going to see today. I promise. Adrien Brody throws desks. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing; I’m just sayin’. Though if you’re a fan of Adrien Brody, Marcia Gay Harden, Brian Cranston, Lucy Liu, Christina Hendricks, Tim Blake Nelson, Blythe Danner, William Peterson or James Caan, then you’ve got something to look forward to here. So this also probably the trailer with the most stacked cast you’re going to see as well.

I gotta be honest here, I’m not super excited for this. But it’s got a couple things going for it. One, it can’t be any worse than Brody’s last headlining effort, Wrecked. Two, and more importantly, this is director Tony Kaye of Lake of Fire and American History X fame. So he’s got two very extraordinary titles already under his belt so I’m more than willing to give this film, Detachment a spin around the block. Sort of looks like a louder version of Half Nelson, but I suppose that remains to be seen. Take a look at the trailer below and tell me what you think.