A light hearted look at the demise of a young man, but sadly makes itself so uber hipster and soundtrack heavy that it loses itself in the beautiful Canadian landscape and could have delivered more.
Ben (Joshua Jackson), an elementary school teacher, has just discovered that he has an aggressive form of cancer and through a series of mishaps and without really realising what he’s doing, he’s the proud owner of a motorbike and stumbles on a message that reads “Go west young man” so he hits the road, leaving his slightly pushy and highly loving fiancee Samantha (Liane Balaban) behind.
Writer and director Michael McGowan managed to tell a great story here, and while I admire the method he used to display character history, the host of emotions involved and most of all the narration which is so familiar but I can’t pinpoint it…. the only thing that ruined this movie is the constant whiny soundtrack, there has to be about 4 albums worth of shitty music here. There is a comprehensive list of artist on the wiki, all I know is that they are all Canadian bands and all equally annoying.
Trapping the audience in a safety net while going through the process of dying, death and childhood dreams, this movie will make you think about how you live your life day to day.
Now for the good factors, the acting is brilliant all round including the few cameos that pop up from some notable singers such as Emm Gryner. Jackson manages to pull a lot out of his acting cap and delivers a sterling performance as a young confused man, but not necessarily one who appears to be dying from cancer.
The narration from Campbell Scott is both informative, amusing and bittersweet, at times it’s twinned with outtakes that remind me of Perfume (2006) while at times it details personal hindsight as in The assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford (2007), there are a few famous quotes chucked in for good measure, one in particular from Thomas Edison, and all of this set to a succulent backdrop to that the Canadian Tourist board would be proud of.Although for me the music was the real let down as it smothers the movie and has very little variance.
Rating 5/10 (would be much higher if it wasn’t so painful on the ears)
R – A Time to leave, Perfume (2006) , The assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford (2007),
L Motorbike movies, Movies to Die for, Selected Canadian Films,
A How accurate can a movie portray what it’s like to find out that you’re dying?