The people that are and are not around us define us, as Suck It Up shows. When Faye Baxter (Erin Carter) is at a job interview she can barely give answers. That changes when her ex-boyfriend’s mother Dina (Nancy Kerr) calls her up. Dina asks her to help out the former’s daughter and latter’s best friend Ronnie (Grace Glowicki). Ronnie’s alcoholism is, as it goes, out of control.
When we compare the two, Faye has herself together, theoretically picking up the pieces as Ronnie falls apart. Faye already has her hair up which is a style Kevin Smith hates and I therefore like. Or will Ronnie rub off on Faye and be a mess too? Faye already has her mantras that she recites before seeing Ronnie. We know what happens to people who use mantras to hide internal fissures.
Thankfully they’re in British Columbia. It’s a setting that writer Julia Hoff and director Jordan Canning take advantage of. What Ronnie needs is a change of scenery, away from a lawn where she can fall down drunk. Instead, they can drive to an off season resort in Invermere on the Lake. Where Ronnie can have all the substances and irresponsible stranger sex she can get.
Canning knows how to set a tone here, from Ben Fox’s indie score. He also lets the leads bring different yet above average performances. Glowicki shows a knack for physical comedy while Carter brings out Faye’s complexity. We’ll get levity out of this film despite the subject matter. Substances and sex are just two of Ronnie’s problems, she’s also still mourning her brother Garrett’s death.
Faye and Ronnie feel like two friends who would have ended up being afterthoughts on each other’s Facebook. But cinema rules require them to stay together and air their issues out. If anything the film shows a possibility of Ronnie without an intervention. She would have ended up as a bag lady with no friends. Which shows off the film’s empathy especially towards characters like Ronnie.
Because Ronnie is all of us. But they didn’t even need to go to Invermere for them to argue. And yes I’m aware that the film hinges on that. It also makes us endure Ronnie’s off season apres crowd who I find annoyingly homogeneous. Yes, this film has some fumbles. But Canning shows a filmmaker’s energy that I hope becomes more consistent in his future work.
- Release Date: 12/1/2017