Not What You Think: Our Review of ‘Suze’

Posted in Movies by - February 23, 2024
Not What You Think: Our Review of ‘Suze’

Some films you just want to shut off shortly after it’s begun. It’s alright to admit it, we’ve all walked out on movies before, or turned them off after watching ten minutes. You’ll find out later that most of the time your initial feeling is right and that you just saved yourself from wasting your time, but there is the odd occasion that you will wish you had stuck it out. Suze is one of those movies.

Suze (Michaela Watkins) follows the story of a single mother suffering from empty nest syndrome after her only child heads off to university. Not only that, but her heart-broken daughter’s ex-boyfriend Gage (Charlie Gillespie) tries committing suicide. Because of this, Suze finds herself stuck looking after him while his father is out of town on business. The only problem is, she can’t stand him. She never thought he was right for her daughter in the first place, and considers him to be a dumb loser who will never go anywhere in life. She finds out however that she never really knew him, and given time she starts to see things a little bit differently.

When Suze starts the characters will annoy you. Perhaps that’s the whole point. Suze is too doting and controlling, her daughter is too upptiy, and Gage, well Gage is too stupid. You will very quickly feel like the characters are cardboard stereotypes, and that past movies tell stories just like this. You wouldn’t be wrong either. The thing is though, about twenty to thirty minutes in the characters start to grow on you. Well Suze and Gage do at any rate.

Suze and Gage have an odd chemistry together that is not expected in the least. The writers / directors Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart could have made a comedy out of the film, or even a straight up drama, but instead they decided to play it with a little bit of both elements, and a whole lot of heart. Watkins and Gillespie somehow work wonderfully together, and other than one cringe-worthy scene later on in the film, the duo are compelling to watch.

The other key thing that allows Suze to work is that Clark and Stewart don’t try to overplay their hand. They know they’ve got a decent story, and don’t try to make it more than it is. They don’t slap you in the face with hard emotions, which they could have easily done. Every time you feel like the story might go the way a similar film has gone, it does something different. As writers they very clearly just wanted you to smile at the fact that good people to exist to take care of one another, without making you feel all mushy and sentimental inside. It makes you feel good without overdoing it.

By no means is Suze a masterpiece, but it’s more than most people will initially think it is. It will make you smile, laugh and feel good, and really that’s all it needs to do.

This post was written by
While Roderick has only been writing movie reviews for a relatively short time, he's been a fan of film for as long as he can remember. It's a love affair that started when he saw Star Wars at a drive-in theatre in Kitchener when he was four years old. In the past decade he's fulfilled his dream of interviewing celebrities, attending red carpets events at festivals such as TIFF and writing reviews for outlets such as He's always on the hunt for the next big thing to hit the screen.
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