TIFF 2022: Our Review of ‘I Like Movies’

Posted in Mongrel at TIFF, Movies by - September 09, 2022
TIFF 2022: Our Review of ‘I Like Movies’

Isaiah Lehtinen plays Lawrence Kweller, a high school student and aspiring filmmaker in Burlington, Ontario. By aspiring filmmaker I mean that he’s the kind of person who breathes movies, who drags people like his best friend Matt Macarchuk (Percy Hynes White) to watch movies like Punch Drunk Love. This is a period piece by the way, as he spends his teen years during the early 2000s when movies like Punch Drunk Love were in theatres.

After this movie theatre scene though, Lawrence bluntly tells Matt that he thinks of the latter as a placeholder friend. A few scenes later, he would uzi his relationship with his mother Terri (Krista Bridges) while trying to forge new ones. That new friendship is with Alana (Romina D’Ugo), the boss at the video store who gives him his first job. This new friendship can only last as long as he’s not unlikeable, which, he is.

This, by the way, is the plot of Chandler Levack’s I Like Movies, and it’s nice when this movie shows moments of brilliance like a scene where Alana reveals her backstory to Lawrence. In other words, a woman, with her sound body and mind, is revealing her backstory to her employee, an underage narcissist. I was willing to give a premise like this a chance because there’s this promise that Levack would bring a fresher perspective to it but she doesn’t. I’m probably a minor dissenter against this movie but it needs a dose or few or realism.


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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches 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.
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