Who's in It:
Paulo Costanzo, Steph Song, JR Bourne
The Basics: A smirkingly detached twentysomething guy who loses everything in one day job, apartment, girlfriend stumbles into tacky success by entering a money-laundering scam with the jerk boyfriend of the woman he wishes he had for himself.
What's the Deal? Now take that plot and add the wishful, wistful, retro-suburbia worship and hopeful futurism of novelist Douglas Coupland (Generation X), who wrote the screenplay title courtesy of the band New Order and what you get is an indie whose tagline is "a new sort of comedy." When I read that, I think that they mean that it's only "sort of" a comedy. And while I think that's the correct reading, I don't mean that as an insult. I appreciate it as a low-key, bemused take on modern, downscaled life expectations.
Why That Collection of Product Boxes on the Wall Looks Like the Late Minimalist Artist Donald Judd Put It There: It's the details that you'll find yourself drawn to. The empty glass apartment buildings and manicured golf courses are right out of a Coupland novel. So is the apartment of lead guy Costanzo, mostly because a lot of the stuff inside seems to be artwork created by Coupland himself (he's also a visual artist). Like: a sculpture created from plastic stacked lawn chairs wrapped in more plastic, a painting that reads "small manageable dreams" and a Warhol-repetitive collection of multicolored, laundry detergent bottles.
For Fans of: Vancouver. It was shot there in a way that feels almost civic-pride Valentine-ish. One of the plot threads involves a woman who dresses sets of Hollywood films shot in Vancouver (aka "almost all of them") and how she can make it look like any south-of-the-Canadian-border city or town. But here you get to see all the stuff that makes it uniquely, nicely, cleanly and greenly Canadian. Somehow, even the office parks come off that way.
Check This Out: Once you see it and, presumably, enjoy it, you might want to investigate www.coupland.com. Normally, I wouldn't be giving shout-outs to author/screenwriter websites, but I'm kind of a big fan (and this one's nice). I'm especially into the pictures of sculptures of what appear to be wasps' nests that he's created from actual pages of his own books.