26 May 2005 | fubared1
Not bad, Not great
Like others in the genre, 'Bagdad Cafe' and 'Mystic Pizza' come most quickly to mind, the film is more interesting for it's characters and performances than any definable 'story'. Like those other films though, it tries overly hard to be 'quirky' without reason, with no definable motivations behind the characters actions and reactions. It tries to present 3-dimensional characters, but gives no substance to their quirkiness. The performances are adequate without being great. The cast, I assume, is Canadian, and therefore unknown to most Americans. The direction is mediocre for the most part, and the writing, well, like the characters, there is little or no motive behind the action. Unfortunately the lead character is too irritating to be able to carry the film. One wonders, in fact, why the son is so devoted to her in the end. Just her voice would have driven any sane person out of there.
One of the oddest things about this film is that, from the beginning I thought it took place on the Mexican border rather than the Canadian border, and it took me a while too understand where the whole film was taking place. The setting looks hot and arid, like a desert town, not cold like a northern climate, and the characters seemed for a while to be talking in a Texas dialect. Add to that the constant, extremely irritating country-western score, and frankly I was shocked when I finally figured out these characters were actually supposed to be Canadians!