I’m not a fan of cliches, like a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush or a penny saved is a penny earned. Fortunately, the Edmonton International Film Festival feels differently than me. They have embraced the Canadian cliches of hockey and headbangers for good reason.
EIFF’s opening night film is Score: A Hockey Musical. That’s not a typo. There’s hockey and singing ... and dancing. Sadly, it does not feature Mark Messier in a leotard showing off his jazz hands (can someone get on this?), but there are cameos by Nelly Furtado, George Stroumboulopoulos and hockey dad Walter Gretzky.
Score is a coming-of-age story about Farley (Noah Reid), an unlikely teenager who becomes a hockey sensation. He comes from a sheltered home with bohemian parents and a cellist girlfriend. Not exactly Sidney Crosby, but his stickhandling skills make him a star.
Along with the spectacle of singing and dancing, the film has a strong emotional core. Not surprising since director, writer and lyricist Michael McGowan is also responsible for the funny and poignant One Week (2008).
Fubar 2, the sequel to the Canadian cult classic, is also on the opening night menu. Think of it as a coming-of-age tale for middle-aged dudes with mullets. According to director Michael Dowse, the film’s budget was “a lot more” than the first Fubar but the film stays to true to its original, uh, charm.
In this film, our heroes Terry (David Lawrence) and Dean (Paul Spence) head to Fort McMurray because headbanging and partying don’t pay for themselves. Lots of money, good friends and humping boxes of beer — what could end this endless party? A woman, of course.
Terry falls for a boisterous waitress named Trish (Terra Hazelton) and decides to move in with her. Dean, unwilling to let the party end, decides an intervention is in order.
Fubar 2 is one of those movies that makes me wish I was an extra in every scene. It’s as funny as the original and the best part — AC/DC is on the soundtrack.