May 8, 2007

Things To Do


Reviewer: Marc Barrite
Rating (out of 5): ***

The Canadian film Things To Do is marketed as reminiscent, if not a culmination, of other well-received indie coming-of-age films such as Garden State and Napoleon Dynamite, but it can actually be thought of as an antidote of sorts to those films. While it does tread similar thematic terrain and contain some of the same essential ingredients - malleable male lead, calculated idiosyncrasies, awkward interactions, and a quirky indie-folk soundtrack - director/co-writer Theodore Bezaire maintains a uniquely casual yet centered approach, resulting in a simple and satisfying film with more heart and honesty than those two more famous indie films.

That isn't to say Things is a masterpiece by any standard. Much like their characters, the actors are clearly in their formative stages, but the performances in Bezaire and co-writer/lead actor Mike Stasko's minimalist script, show great promise. Daniel Wilson is particularly memorable as Mac, the freewheeling, inspirational sidekick to Stasko's Adam, providing warmth and comic relief while managing to avoid overstatement. Indeed, Wilson's character even bears some resemblance to his better-known cousin Owen's in Bottle Rocket, a film more appropriately compared to this one.

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Posted by cphillips at May 8, 2007 11:42 AM
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