Ben Ratner
Canada 2003, 96 min.

Gene Maxwell is a struggling writer nursing a heart broken by his ex-fiancée, flighty B-movie actress Liz. Gene’s recovery is irrevocably stalled when Liz shows up unannounced to ask for an audacious favor. While she’s off shooting a low-budget sci-fi flick in Prague, she needs Gene to help move her curmudgeonly father Malcolm into his new apartment. Plagued by reconciliation fantasies, Gene finds himself unable to say no. But is the opportunity to win back Liz a chance he should take?

After headlining some of the funniest Canadian films of the past few years, including Last Wedding, Ben Ratner pulls triple-duty as writer, director and star of this engaging first feature. The stellar supporting cast includes two ex-X-Files alumni, John Neville as the droll, feisty Malcolm, and Nicholas Lea as Gene’s lunatic best friend. Co-stars Babz Chula and Jay Brazeau are a riot as Gene’s parents, a pair of power-kvetchers seemingly intent on guilt-tripping Gene into happiness. American-import Elizabeth Berkley (Showgirls, Roger Dodger) delivers a lovely, winsome performance as Liz, filtering swamps of regret and longing through a veneer of detached sauciness. Greg Middleton’s crisp cinematography ensures a silky glow to all the onscreen angst. With offbeat humor and an actor’s eye for eccentric character moments, Ratner’s directorial debut is a whimsical, poignant look at the heavy lifting involved in moving on.

-Elan Mastai, 2003 Vancouver International Film Festival

In Attendance: Benjamin Ratner, Producer Paul Armstrong, Publicist/Associate Producer Rory Richards


Brian Stockton, Canada, 2003, 12min