Actors Ennis Esmer and Natalie Lisinska aren’t quite sure what all the fuss is about. Their new film has raised the ire of politicians and some in the movie-going public, few of whom have actually seen the picture.
It should be noted that it contains no violence, bare breasts and a couple bottoms are the only nudity on display, and with the exception of some explicit language, the sexual content is far from gratuitous.
Maybe it’s the title, Young People F---ing, that’s raised more than a few eyebrows across this great land. “People assume things out of nowhere,” Esmer says. “They hear the title, think of something else and think that’s what the movie is about.”
“I think the universal reaction to it from people who have seen it is, ‘Oh, it’s really sweet, isn’t it?’” Lisinska adds. Controversial monikers aside, the comedy has drawn most of its attention from critics who lauded the comedy’s sharp, edgy writing and witty dialogue when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year.
It follows a group of 20- and 30-somethings at roadblocks in their private lives: The bored couple, the player dating the girl from work, the exes still looking for love, the friends who decide to take things a bit further in their relationship, and the couple (Esmer and Lisinska) that invites their roommate into the bedroom to spice things up.
Directed by Canadian Martin Gero, and co-written by Gero and Canadian actor Aaron Abrams, the film is an exploration of the complexities of relationships, rather than the gratuitous romp its title suggests.
Still, the rest of the press Young People F---ing has received has largely been tied to the ramifications of Bill C-10, which would give the federal Heritage Department the power to deny funding for TV programs and films deemed offensive or inappropriate, or retroactively revoke tax credits for productions considered offensive. The film has become something of a symbol for Canadian filmmakers threatened by the prospect of a government department being able to pull the financial plug on their projects.
“That’s what’s so ridiculous about the controversy with the government because sex is such a universal thing that everyone experiences and everyone does,” Lisinska says.
Esmer opines: “If the ladies at my stepmother’s Shabbat dinner are OK with the content of the movie, then the Conservatives should just tone it down.”
As far as that provocative title is concerned, Esmer adds it’s just time to get over it.
“When you put the title out there it became the responsibility of the press or the people who run the movie theatres.
“They can call the movie whatever they want.”
The film opens in theatres today.
>> Read Metro's review on Young People F---ing
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