Twenty something Siobhan Sullivan (Victoria Kucher) is a physicist. During a trip to the Toronto Islands, she makes herself and her boyfriend Sean Bernard (Steven Yaffee) imagine alternate universes containing alternate versions of themselves. There’s a Sean out there who is a dentist who sounds like Obama, or a rock star Siobhan. She also imagines a version where they stay on the island instead of going home to their boring apartment. A thought that makes her spiral and realizes how unhappy she is with Sean, a thought so strong it leads to their breakup.
This is the second movie I’ve seen this week where a seemingly innocuous event has a female character reeling and seeing another version of herself and the person she loves. Movies like this go 50-50. Sometimes these characters stay together despite having the nastiest fights of their lives. At other times, like in this movie, the characters take a plunge and break up with their partners. I’ll eventually say what I dislike about this, but for now, the movie’s first act shows genuine emotions that both cast and crew try to flesh out.
Emotional truth makes for a good start for these characters. I’ll also keep in mind that one of them is Sean and this movie’s writer director is Shawn Gerrard and that this movie might be autobiographical. That said, the movie never makes them compelling enough. And as hollow as they are, the supporting characters are worse. The movie introduces Alvin (Andy McQueen), as the kind of guy who quotes misogynist rap lyrics to his fellow academic, Siobhan. And instead of the school kicking him out for sexual harassment, she actually starts to date the guy!
Meanwhile, Sean’s corresponding co-worker turned rebound, D.D. (Risa Stone) is more insufferable, a fictional version of what men think dumb Torontonian women are like. There’s a scene between him and her has a spirit guide, Akhila (Amy Jo Johnson) that should, in a better movie, be a scene where Johnson can make a memorable impression. But it just falls flat. And I know this is Toronto, where straight men can’t decorate an apartment to save their lives. But the whole point of movies, as far as I can remember, is to make any space look interesting.
Other scenes in the movie depict textbook millennial malaise. Characters who either can’t put their phones away or use them to stalk their exes. Characters making unconventional purchases. Sean and Siobhan doing things alone instead of doing things together or with their rebounds. An indie soundtrack where light soprano vocalists gargle instead of sing. Bare walls signifying avoidable breakups. Gerrard also makes Sean seem like a sad sack that it’s surprising that he had one girlfriend much less two. Watching this made me wish for a better, more thought out version.