Everyone who knows me knows that I am a very proud Canadian. I cheer rabidly for Canadian teams or athletes when possible. Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Raptors, Milos Raonic, Canadian National Womens Soccer Team. I love Canadian music from artists like Emm Gryner, Chantal Kreviazuk, Jann Arden, Joni Mitchell. So it pains me to say that I will start off this review by saying that this film looked really Canadian. That is not a compliment. Production values were low and the acting was incredibly fake. Which is too bad because underneath all there is a good film here.
Since they were 6-years-old and bonded over Ken and Barbie dolls, Mackenzie (Elise Bauman – Below Her Mouth) and Cassie (Natasha Negovanlis – first film) have been best friends. Now in their early 20s and living together while they go to university they are as close as ever. Or are they? Mackenzie has come to the realization that she is gay, but cannot bring herself to tell Cassie. She has told everyone else like her parents and their gay friend, Levi (Justin Gerhard – first film). Her hesitation over telling Cassie is due to the fact that she does not want things to change between them.
Cassie is also going through things. She has just broken up with her long term soon to be a doctor boyfriend, Matthew (Mark Matechuk – The Sublet), which devastates her parents. She also gets fired from her internship. Life for Cassie is not going as she meticulously planned it.
That fear becomes reality when things change between them after Mackenzie finally tells Cassie. Each accuses the other of being self-involved and things escalate until Mackenzie moves out. Is this just a natural growing apart as they grow up or something else?
The main theme of the film is friendship and how it changes as you get older. Those involved have to learn to go with the flow and allow the other to be the occasional bitch/dick. For the better of the friendship, of course.
For the LGBTQ community it is about being gay and dealing with it. Mackenzie is young and being gay and out is new to her. The cool twist on that is her having a straight best friend. How each deals with this is examined. They are different yes, but the film shows that straight or gay you will go through difficult things in life. We are all more the same than we are different. So it is in essence a platonic love story. How these two are trying to keep their relationship together despite the fact that their lives are moving in different directions.
Despite this solid and overall interesting core, the film ends up disappointing. What derails a film that should be a fun and lighthearted watch is the hammy acting by almost everyone in it. To a woman and one or two men they are all quite stilted in their roles. I know this won’t be a very popular opinion as the two leads star in a popular internet series, Carmilla.
Plus the fact that it is about a rather serious subject, but chooses to tackle it from a very inoffensive perspective can be annoying at times. Sometimes you want the film to have a little bit more depth to it. Rendering these very real problems sometimes trivial isn’t the way to go. Also, the lighthearted approach makes it all become rather predictable.
All in all the minuses outweigh the pluses.