40 IS THE NEW 20 (director/writer: Simon Boisvert; cinematographer: Jacques F. Bernier; editor: Renaud Rouverand; music: Benoît Tilizien; cast: Pat Mastroianni (Gary), Claudia Ferri (Jennifer), Bruce Dinsmore (Simon), Diana Lewis (Cindy), Lynne Adams (Pat), Jean-Robert Bourdage (Martin), Charles Bender (Rob), Tobie Pelletier (Peter), Matt Silver (Steve); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Simon Boisvert/Diana Lewis; 2009-Canada)
“All talk and no pork makes for a joyless pic about Gen X’ers and their dating problems in Montreal.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
All talk and no pork makes for a joyless pic about Gen X’ers and their dating problems in Montreal. The melodramatic film seemed like one talking point lecture on the horror of reaching 40 and not having a mate. French-Canadian Simon Boisvert (“Barmaids”/”Guys, Girls and a Jerk”) is the writer-director of this cold indie that could never get into a good dramatic flow; it’s the director’s first film in English, and is less energized and more awkward than his other films.
Middle-aged single buddies Gary (Pat Mastroianni) and Simon (Bruce Dinsmore) work together in an office as stockbrokers. Simon is content to play the field and act like a sexist caveman, while Gary aspires to find true love. While Gary checks online for a reunion with his high school alums Cindy (Diana Lewis), the happily married customer relations rep at the firm, looks over his shoulder and spots her girlfriend Jennifer (Claudia Ferri). Coincidentally she was Gary’s first girlfriend and they last saw each other when he was 19, some 20 years ago. Cindy and Gary arrange for Jen to get a job as a customer relationship rep at their firm, and soon after meeting her Gary is anxious to get back with his true love even after learning she’s a single mom with a 20-year-old son. Unfortunately Jennifer feels no passion for Gary and refuses his advances. Gary becomes obsessed with her and jealously wants no other men to go out with the attractive lady. Simon uses spyware on her computer, and thereby Gary is able to interfere with her social life–including the date with a 28-year-tennis teacher and those that call her from an internet dating service. The crazed with jealousy Gary wants Jen for himself and goes to great lengths to prevent her from getting the man of her dreams. Though Jennifer never discovers what Gary did, she gets completely turned off by his possessive behavior and ends their friendship.
Done without humor, sex and characters worth caring about, things never cohere and we never learn more about either Gary or Jen than we do when both are first introduced in the pic’s beginning. It’s a film whose characters might be in search of love, but the film itself is in dire need of a story that has a heart.
REVIEWED ON 3/25/2009 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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