Thursday, June 10, 2010

90 Days

(Giles Walker, 1985)
Building off the characters and techniques of their earlier "Masculine Mystique", Stefan Wodoslawsky and Sam Grana return as a couple of aging bachelors who get involved with a Korean mail-order bride and a mysterious sperm donor ring, respectively. No true documentary content in this one, just a clever stylistic overlay, with naturalistic cinematography and sporadic, unconvincing interview inserts. While the Korea-Montreal cultural divide stuff mainly generates mild smiles, the sperm-donor routine can be laugh-out-loud funny, with a nice sense of exaggeration and timing. Overall the comedy of romantic errors is surprisingly tender, and this gang of barely part-time actors treat their characters with compassion and respect even when they're acting like buffoons. Too bad, though, that the relatively conventional narrative approach leads the filmmakers to upset the balance with a rushed feel-good ending that is insufficiently motivated and unsatisfying in its tidiness. And too bad that their lack of trust in the material manifests itself in a dinkily pushy Casio score that gets more annoying the longer it sticks around.

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