While Hollywood churns out sequels and big-budget schlock and cedes the “important” films to
the American independent cinema, Canadian cinema continues to produce quirky, often exceptional
efforts. Some of these features actually get a theatrical run, but others only make it to the USA on DVD.
EVERYONE, which opened in Canada in 2004, has been acquired for American distribution by TLA
Releasing, and it is rolling out in May 2005 on DVD. Because it centers on a gay couple on the day of
their “marriage” (actually a commitment ceremony), many may overlook the film. That would be a shame,
as it has a lot to say about relationships and human nature.
The events unfold over the course of a single day: the three-year anniversary of the first meeting
between Ryan (Matt Fentiman) and Grant (Mark Hildreth). They’ve chosen that day for a public
commitment ceremony attended by family and close friends. On the guest list are Ryan’s eccentric
mother (Katherine Billings) who brings along a teenage vagrant Dylan (Brendan Fletcher) as her date,
Ryan’s brothers Gale (Michael Chase), a self-absorbed actor, and Luke (Stephen Park), and their
respective spouses, actress Trish (Suzanne Hepburn) and Rachel (Cara McDowell), and Grant’s stoner
brother Kalvin (Andrew Moxham) and his girlfriend Jenny (Anna Williams) whose young son died three
years prior on the same day. Rounding out the guests are Madeline (Nancy Sivak) and her depressed
husband Shep (Bill Marchant, who also wrote and directed the film), a surgeon who recently lost a patient.
Before the ceremony, each of the couples face crises: Gale and Trish decide to end their marriage
when she learns she’s pregnant; Kalvin and Jenny spend the time playing video games and smoking
marijuana to deaden the pain of losing their child, Luke and Rachel make a valiant attempt to conceive
a child, while Madeline has a tryst with her lover as her husband wallows in self-pity and alcohol. Grant
and Ryan fight over the ceremony, what to wear and their relationship in general.
Admittedly, it takes a little while to sort out who’s who and what their various problems are, but
once the film kicks in, it becomes engrossing and enjoyable. It’s well-acted by the entire cast. For US
audiences, the best-known “name” may be Carly Pope (of the cult TV show “POPULAR”) who offers
a wonderful comic interlude as a ditsy caterer who says all the wrong things.
EVERYONE may not be for, well, everyone. But those who seek it out will find an enjoyable
and engrossing comedy-drama.
MPAA Rating: NONE
Running time: 90 mins.
|© 2005 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.