TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘Hate To Love: Nickelback’

Posted in TIFF 2023 by - September 15, 2023
TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘Hate To Love: Nickelback’

Nickelback has been the punchline of countless jokes, including mine. After hitting it big in the early 00s with songs like “How You Remind Me,” the Canadian rockers have sold over 50 million albums worldwide and been nominated for 6 Grammys. Despite the fact that legions of fans clearly love them, it feels like everyone hates them. Directed by Leigh Brooks, Hate to Love is a rock doc that asks why so many people despise one of the most successful music acts of all time.

While I still don’t love Nickelback, I quite liked this documentary. It starts with the band’s humble origins in Hanna, Alberta, a town of fewer than 3,000 people. Nickelback was founded by frontman Chad Kroeger and his brother Mike. Over the years, the band has also included Brandon Kroeger, Ryan Vikedal, Daniel Adair, Ryan Peak, and Mitch Guindon. Initially a cover band, Nickelback hit it big with their own songs that many people on the Internet have pointed out pretty much all sound the same…

Today, Nickelback sell out entire stadiums when they go on tour, but as generic as their sound is, they aren’t the corporate-manufactured band youths sneeringly assume they are. Before signing with Roadrunner Records, Chad Kroeger spent the 90s personally calling Canadian radio stations to make sure their music was getting played.

Hate To Love is a tad too long and the cinematography sometimes makes it feel like a commercial for Raybans. However, it’s overall an interesting meditation on what constitutes good music.

This post was written by
Sarah Sahagian is a feminist writer based in Toronto. Her byline has appeared in such publications as The Washington Post, Refinery29, Elle Canada, Flare, The Toronto Star, and The National Post. She is also the co-founder of The ProfessionElle Society. Sarah holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from The London School of Economics. You can find her on Twitter, where she posts about parenting, politics, and The Bachelor.
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