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

  • Ariana Grande cancels world tour stops through June 5

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Ariana Grande's management team says she has suspended her world tour through June 5 in the wake of a suicide bombing at her concert in Manchester. The pop star, who was on a European leg of her "Dangerous Woman Tour," cancelled stops scheduled for Thursday and Friday at the 02 Arena in London. Source
  • Ariana Grande postpones concerts after Manchester attack

    Entertainment CBC News
    Ariana Grande has put her Dangerous Woman tour dates on hold following the suicide bomb attack outside her concert at Manchester Arena on Monday. The world tour, which was set to stop at London's O2 Arena Thursday and Friday, "has been suspended until we can further assess the situation and pay our proper respects to those lost," according to a statement from the American singer's management. Source
  • 'The Great War is here': Game of Thrones season 7 trailer debuts

    Entertainment CBC News
    A new trailer for Game of Thrones' upcoming seventh season dropped online Wednesday, giving fans a tantalizingly brief look at what lies ahead for HBO's fantasy drama juggernaut. Fan favourites return to set up the seemingly final conflict between the Seven Kingdoms' surviving leaders: Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his half-sister Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) in Winterfell; Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) currently in Dragonstone; and Cersei (Lena Headey)…
  • Top Gun 2 is 'definitely happening,' says Tom Cruise

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Danger Zone may have gotten old and dusty, but Tom Cruise says he's about to fly back in. The 54-year-old actor says the long-discussed sequel to Top Gun is a sure thing and should start shooting soon. Source
  • Technical problems force HBO to scrap Jon Stewart venture

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- HBO is scrapping a web-delivered satirical project it was developing with Jon Stewart, a change of plans that keeps the popular political humorist on the sidelines as the Trump administration continues to provide his fellow comedians with comic gold. Source
  • No punishment for Stephen Colbert's Trump joke, says FCC

    Entertainment CBC News
    There will be no fine for Stephen Colbert's risqué joke about U.S. President Donald Trump. A Federal Communications Commission spokesman said Tuesday that the agency received "thousands" of complaints about the late-night host's May 1 show, so it reviewed the material as "standard operating procedure. Source
  • Serena Williams accepts a new challenge - in Silicon Valley

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Tennis star Serena Williams has 39 Grand Slam titles, four Olympic medals, major endorsement deals and her own line of clothing and accessories. Now she is embarking on a new mission: She says she wants to help tech companies diversify their workforces and solve one of the industry's most vexing problems. Source
  • Topher Grace on growing up on 'That '70s Show', Netflix vs. cinema and 'War Machine'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    If first impressions count for anything, Topher Grace is a helluva nice guy. Best-known for his TV run on That ’70s Show, Grace is part of the all-star cast of War Machine, a new Netflix movie streaming Friday. Source
  • Critique of Lou Reed song as 'transphobic' renews campus sensitivity debate

    Entertainment CTV News
    The criticism of Lou Reed's classic hit "Walk on the Wild Side" as "transphobic" at an Ontario university has reignited the long-simmering debate around the impact of cultural sensitivity on campuses and whether there's a chill on freedom of speech and topics that could offend. Source
  • ‘Baywatch’ review: Only the penis jokes are funny in Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron’s muscle-bound misfire [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Back in 2015, Dwayne Johnson joked on Saturday Night Live about being “franchise viagra.” He has reinvigorated the G.I. Joe franchise, Disney’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth and has arguably become the biggest star in the Fast and the Furious series thanks to his scene-stealing role as Agent Hobbs (and for the record, yes, we want that spinoff please). Source