Canadian indie romantic comedies opening in Toronto theatres

TORONTO -- While cinemas are currently flooded with buzzy Oscar-nominated titles, a few Canadian indie filmmakers are hoping movie-goers will show their romantic comedies some love heading into Valentine's Day.

See Full Article

This month, several Canadian rom-coms are hitting theatres in the Toronto-area, including two by real-life Canuck couples.

"A Date With Miss Fortune" -- opening Feb. 5 in Cineplex Cinemas in Toronto, Oakville and Vaughan -- was written and produced by married actors Ryan K. Scott and Jeannette Sousa. The Toronto/Los Angeles-based duo also star in the film as a couple facing cultural differences.

Meanwhile, "What An Idiot" -- opening Feb. 5 at Kingsway Theatre in Toronto -- was written by fellow married actors Peter and Julia Benson of Vancouver. They also star in it as office colleagues who become close when he lies about his sexual orientation.

And "Portrait of a Serial Monogamist" -- hitting Toronto's Carlton Cinema on Feb. 12 -- was written and directed by Christina Zeidler and John Mitchell. Diane Flacks stars in the Toronto-shot film as the "serial monogamist."

"I think at the heart of it, audiences do love this type of film and actors and filmmakers love making them," said Peter Benson, "and I think with the digital revolution in filmmaking, it is so much cheaper to make a film.

"So I think people on the creative end are saying, 'Let's take a chance and try and put a funny comedy out there and try and find an audience for it."'

Scott and Sousa, who've been married for 12 years and have a three-year-old daughter, say their film was loosely inspired by the culture clash in their own relationship. (He's Canadian and she's of Portuguese descent.)

"We just kept joking around saying, 'We should write a movie about that one day,"' said Sousa, who met Scott at an audition.

They started writing it four years ago, also taking inspiration from their friends' cross-cultural relationships. They got their funding privately, largely through the Portuguese community, and recruited singer Nelly Furtado and TV personality George Stroumboulopoulos to make cameos.

They filmed in Toronto with what Scott called "a very commercial sensibility." Many of Sousa's family members appear onscreen.

They now hope to make more such films together to fill what Scott called a rom-com "void" in an industry filled with superhero and action films. They've already written a couple of scripts.

"We would definitely like to keep this going and have this be the first of many," said Scott, noting they likely wouldn't star in the other films.

In "What An Idiot," Peter Benson's character pretends to be gay in order to get close to his boss, played by his wife. It's already won trophies at the Canadian Comedy Awards and at the L.A. Comedy Festival.

The parents of two young children, who met doing voiceover work and got married in 2009, had already collaborated on a couple of projects before "What An Idiot."

But they'd been "aching" to make a comedy, a genre that isn't filmed much in Vancouver, where sci-fi and movies of the week dominate.

They also wanted to create a project with a strong female character as well as a "fresh and honest tone."

"We've really been inspired by the kind of Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen crew of filmmaking," said Peter Benson, who directed the film.

Like Scott and Sousa, the Bensons cast family members in the film.

And they hope to make more comedies together.

"It's a hard road, it's a long road," said Julia Benson, the film's producer.

"So I think what we've found is if one of us is down or something like that, the other one can pick the other one up and you kind of trade off.

"So we can always have one of us always being the cheerleader to keep going."

"A Date With Miss Fortune" comes out on VOD and home video on May 9.

"What An Idiot" hits VOD and iTunes on March 9.

More cities and dates for "Portrait of a Serial Monogamist" are to be announced.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Netflix and chill, rather than go out to silver screen

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    “Hello, plants,” my wiseacre college-age son says, by way of hello to my wife and me when he sees us in front of the television, binge-watching something or other. I call that big talk from someone who’s invariably headed up to his room to play video games online with friends for hours. Source
  • Xavier Dolan wins best director at César Awards

    Entertainment CBC News
    Quebec film director Xavier Dolan has won the best director award at the César Awards, France's equivalent of the Oscars. Dolan took home the honours for It's Only the End of the World, while the film was also successful in the best actor and film editing categories on Friday. Source
  • Man sent to prison for cutting off woman's finger to honour Insane Clown Posse fan

    Entertainment CTV News
    Joseph Bruce aka Violent J, left, and Joseph Utsler aka Shaggy 2 Dope, members of the Insane Clown Posse address the media in Detroit, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Source
  • Oscar hosts through the years: The ‘feel good’, the ‘edgy’ and the oddballs

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Oscar hosts through the years: The ‘feel good’, the ‘edgy’ and the oddballs If you scrutinize the nature of the job of Oscar host over the years, they invariably fall into one of three categories. There are “feel good” hosts, whose job is to make Academy members feel better about themselves. Source
  • How to make your Oscar picks: Insider tips from CBC film critic Eli Glasner

    Entertainment CBC News
    Missed Moonlight? Lagging behind on La La Land? Haven't seen Hidden Figures yet? You can still win that Academy Awards pool! Check out the video above for a few insider tips from CBC film critic Eli Glasner to help you pick the winners. Source
  • How to win your Oscars pool: Insider tips from CBC's film critic

    Entertainment CBC News
    Missed Moonlight? Lagging behind on La La Land? Haven't seen Hidden Figures yet? You can still win that Academy Awards pool! Check out the video above for a few insider tips from CBC film critic Eli Glasner to help you pick the winners. Source
  • Quebec director Xavier Dolan wins French Oscar

    Entertainment CTV News
    PARIS -- Quebec film director Xavier Dolan has won the best director award at France's equivalent of the Oscars. Dolan took home the honours for "It's Only the End of the World," while the film was also successful in the best actor and film editing categories on Friday. Source
  • Obamas return to Broadway to see Arthur Miller's 'The Price'

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The Obamas just can't quit Broadway. Former President Barack Obama and his daughter Malia Obama have caught a new revival of Arthur Miller's "The Price." They attended the play starring Danny DeVito, John Turturro, Tony Shalhoub and Jessica Hecht at the American Airlines Theatre on Friday. Source
  • Oscar-nominated Syrian cinematographer barred from entering U.S.

    Entertainment CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. immigration authorities have decided to bar entry to a 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer whose harrowing film about his nation's civil war, "The White Helmets," has been nominated for an Academy Award. According to internal Trump administration correspondence seen by The Associated Press, the Department of Homeland Security has decided at the last minute to block Khaled Khatib from travelling to Los Angeles for the Oscars. Source
  • Kesha to star in cartoon series

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Kesha is stepping into the animated world to voice a character in new U.S. series Highly Gifted. The Tik Tok hitmaker will join Drake Bell and Ron Funches among the voice actors in the semi-autobiographical comedy series, based on the experiences of cartoon creators Daniel and Jeremy Lehrer, known as the Lehrer Boys, participating in programs for highly-gifted students. Source