Canadian Film Festival 2017: Our Review of ‘Great Great Great’

Canadian Film Festival 2017: Our Review of ‘Great Great Great’

Adam Garnet Jones’ Great Great Great, as a title, sounds like a mantra. And a mantra is a thing you say to convince yourself of something that isn’t true. Because baby what you see isn’t always the truth. It starts out with a piano score that evokes Woody Allen’s bourgeois discontent. This sounds like an insult but it’s not. The protagonist, Lauren (Sarah Kolasky, who also co-wrote the film), learns about her parents’ divorce. This news reminds her of her age – she recently turned 30 – and her parents divorce seems like a warning. Like her life might end up like theirs.

The other sign of this inevitability manifests in Lauren’s boyfriend Tom Henderson (Dan Beirne). Tom’s an out of work urban planner. He literally plays Legos instead of focusing on his job hunt and his physical fitness. But there’s major change in a static life, as always, and that comes in the form of David (Richard Clarkin). They met five years before the events we see in the film and before she met Tom. And now David is her boss and recently divorced. He’s a pushy guy who won’t let go of her unless she meets him outside of work. Once reluctant, she finally surrenders and chooses David.

David’s older but virile, seemingly better than her man child of a boyfriend, who she proposes to. Kolasky competently performs her transitions and increasingly impulsive decision. Her story reminds me of Madame Bovary, a narrative that is not just emotional. Both touch on the economic conditions – like the temporary nature of Tom’s work – that drive impulsive push backs. As writers Jones and Kolasky aren’t afraid to take small scenes into memorable awkwardness between actors. The scenes here help paint a picture that elevates its premise into something more promising for future material.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you’re working.