LOVE OF MY LIFE – written and directed by Joan Carr-Wiggin – SPOILERS
This comedy is not dark. LOVE OF MY LIFE is a tale that pokes fun at the darkness.
Grace (Anna Chancellor) has a brain tumor and has been told she might die. She makes the mistake of informing her husband Tom (James Fleet) of this dire fact, and because of that the movie begins with Grace reluctantly comforting a sobbing Tom (who is genuinely off-putting). So the film gets off on the wrong foot. Hopeful of keeping information about her medical condition between the two of them, Grace asks her husband not to tell anyone. He immediately phones their daughter Kaitlyn (Hannah Emily Anderson) and that opens the floodgates.
Soon Kaitlyn, and Grace’s other daughter Zoe (Katie Boland), show up at the house along with Zoe’s dad Richard (John Hannah) who is also Grace’s ex. Richard is a novelist and professional mansplainer who, upon learning of Grace’s condition, decides that she is the Love Of His Life, despite the fact that she left him after he had an affair, and that he is remarried to Tamara (Hermione Norris).
Tom’s greatest fear is that if Grace dies, he’ll never again find someone willing to have sex with him.
Resigned to the possibility of death on the operating table, Grace would have been quite happy to spend what might be her last few days alone with a (suitably short) good book, but she now must spend that time helping emotionally dependent relatives cope. Because she is an intelligent, practical woman, she makes the most of the opportunities presented to her by this unfortunate turn of events.
Grace doesn’t really live with Tom. Her actual home is the nearby all-night coffee shop, a place where she can think. When she needs to talk to her boss on her home turf, she invites him to the coffee shop. When she finally decides to have sex with her ex before the operation, it happens in the middle of the night at the coffee shop (after the fellow running the otherwise empty establishment is bribed to go away and lock up for the night).
After the invasion of needy relatives, Grace discovers that the true love of her life is architecture. She has been a mediocre architect up to this point because she has lacked the self-confidence to take chances and truly express herself in her designs. (It is this same attitude that caused her to marry Tom.) The immediate possibility of death, coupled with the sudden realization of how awful her life has become, her makes her throw caution to the winds and design one of those distinctive but horrific modern houses that only look good from the inside (or from an airplane). Her boss loves it, and Grace resolves to build the thing should she survive.
The ending is purposely vague, relationship wise. I like to think that Grace has a truly pleasant outcome, and not only builds that house she always dreamed of building, but also buys it and lives there (hermit-like except for occasional visits to the coffee shop) designing hideously inventive structures for the rest of her days. One hopes that Tamara divorces Richard and marries Tom, confusing Kaitlyn and making Zoe very happy. (Tom and Tamara of course move to England and are never heard from again.) Kaitlyn takes a job at the coffee shop so she occasionally gets to see her mother. Capitalizing on her father’s name, Zoe writes a best-selling novel that is a thinly-disguised account of the events leading up to the what happens in this film. She relocates to another city, and buys a house designed by her mother.
Naomi Snieckus (Lorna) is Sophie Wexner in KISS AND CRY, a musical biography based on the true story of Carley Allison, a promising 18 year old figure skater and singer who made medical history in her fight against a rare type of cancer. The movie tells the story of Carley’s emotional battle with the disease and her inspiring comeback to skating. Sarah Fisher stars as Carley and was best friends with the skater in real life. “It was therapeutic to get to tell her story,” Fisher told the Toronto Star, “because I lived quite a bit of it with her. It didn’t feel like I was playing a character at all.” KISS AND CRY can be streamed on Netflix. A trailer is available on YouTube.
Scott Cavalheiro (Will) is “the scientist” in MEZA (aka KILL ORDER), a science-fiction drama in which a troubled high school student (Chris Mark) discovers the truth behind his forgotten past, and by doing so gains access to an arcane world of superhuman abilities. Written and directed by James Mark, the film has so far been released on DVD only in Japan.
Cavalheiro will also be Rocco Farinelli in several episodes of THE INDIAN DETECTIVE, a show about a charming and ambitious Toronto cop of Indian heritage named Doug D’Mello (Russell Peters) whose dreams of becoming a homicide detective must be put on hold when he is unjustly suspended from the force. THE INDIAN DETECTIVE will air Sundays at 8pm on CTV beginning sometime this fall.
Merran Carr-Wiggin (Darla) is Emily in BREAK ON THROUGH, a film about a group of strangers who find themselves trapped in an isolated farmhouse after a mysterious, “cry from above” (?) causes panic around the world. As their fear and confusion mounts, they must learn to trust one another if they are to have any hope of survival. Writer Matt Grue described the film to Mark Weber of the Lacombe Express: “We bend structure and convention and that means information doesn’t present itself in a usual way or at usual times in the film. It’s actually a bit jarring to watch when you’re used to a particular structure, but often you’re not aware of just how jarring it was until the ending.” Filmed in and around Red Deer, Alberta, BREAK ON THROUGH will be in select Canadian theatres on 17 October. A trailer is available on YouTube.