Back in June when I was visiting my brother in Toronto, we were invited to be in the test audience for The Right Kind of Wrong. We both like Ryan Kwanten and Sara Canning but really, all we needed to hear was “free movie.” We *may* have had to lie slightly to get in (no, officer, we are not involved in the film industry in any way) but it looked good so I badgered Dennis into it.
An unsuccessful novelist whose ex-wife wrote a best-selling blog-turned-book about how much he sucks decides to win the love of a woman he met on her wedding day.
We had to promise not to talk about it before they released it, but it came out on Friday so now I can tell you that The Right Kind of Wrong was amazing! It was fun, hilarious, gorgeous, cleverly written, and it made us happy. Everyone in the theater loved it. The craziest part: it’s Canadian!
If you’re not familiar with Canadian film, the vast majority of our movies are boring, depressing, pretentious, ugly, and they don’t make any money because no normal person wants to pay money to be bored, depressed, and irritated. This movie is different. I had a good time watching it. It was beautifully shot. It left me feeling good. And best of all, I could relate to it. Leo Palomino (Ryan Kwanten) is a novelist who has to support himself as a dishwasher because nobody wants to buy his book.
I feel your pain, buddy. Boy do I ever.
To add insult to injury, Leo’s ex-wife Julie (Kristen Hager), who spent most of their marriage blogging about Leo’s flaws, has just landed a book deal and is appearing on talk shows. She has the life he wanted, and she got it by dragging him through the dirt. Leo’s famous too, but not in the way anyone ever wants to be famous. In the: “Hey, aren’t you that guy who sucks?” kind of way.
This isn’t about me! It’s about my… evil twin brother!
Leo’s editor Neil (Will Sasso), his co-worker Mandeep (Raoul Bhaneja), and his co-workers two little geniuses Ravi (Mateen Devji) and Pia (Maya Samy) are all after him to snap out of his funk and try to make something of himself in order to show up his ex-wife and prove to everyone that the things she wrote about him were wrong.
Dad says we should come over here and make sure you’re not trying to kill yourself.
But Leo’s not really up to fighting his fate until he meets Collette (Sara Canning). Then all of a sudden his interest in life comes roaring back. His mission becomes to win Collette over. The only slight flaw in his plan is that he met Collette at a wedding. Her wedding. To Danny (Ryan Mc Partlin), a rich lawyer Olympian who helps children through his family’s foundation. Not that this stops Leo from trying to woo her.
I hate it when we are apart, love Leo
Yeah, that husband of hers is kind of a douchecanoe.
There are certain things that make me cringe in romantic comedies – characters who sabotage other characters’ marriages/impending marriages in order to win the bride/groom for themselves, and stalking. Stephenie Meyer has spent years trying to convince us that stalking is sexy, but I’m not buying it. Or at least I didn’t until Leo started stalking Collette. The difference I think is that Leo’s not stalking her in a creepy way. Leo’s kind of stalking supports Collette’s tour company.
When you own a small business, you have to put up with shifty clients if you want to pay your bills.
Leo is such a contrast from her husband that the more she hangs out with him, the more she discovers the flaws in her current relationship. Danny is dismissive of her values and goals (she’s a quirky environmentalist, he’s a yuppie who drives a hummer) and worst of all he’s kind of a douche. She doesn’t really see that side of him until he starts reacting to Leo’s efforts to make her feel special.
Haha, what a loser. He actually thinks Collette’s weird walking tours are cool!
So the movie managed to get past one of my prejudices. Well done, movie! (Actually, it got past two if you count my prejudice against Canadian movies). How did it do this? Well, it’s funny. And original. Leo’s a dishwasher who actually enjoys his job (he does crazy dish juggling acrobatics). Collette’s walking tours focus on the strange and little known aspects of their town (like Leo and his dish juggling) and Leo’s editor Neil and his wife are always having hilarious sexual interludes. Also, it’s hard to resist a movie that’s this pretty:
A combination of Canadian Rockies and color grading.
Or a movie that has an adorable kitteh subplot. You see, Leo and his wife had a pair of fluffy white kittens. Leo loves the kittens (whose names are Snow and Balls, by the way) and his wife doesn’t, but she took one anyway when she left just as a final F-you to Leo. The mountains are a dangerous place for cute kittehs but that doesn’t stop them from trying to have a kitty reunion.
If you can’t love a guy who loves kittehs, there is no hope for you.
So that is why The Right Kind of Wrong is a good movie and why all of you out there reading this should go and see it. If we vote with our wallets and this movie does well, hopefully the Powers that Be of Canadian film funding will get the message that THIS is the kind of movie we should be making.