The latest film from Bruce Sweeney is another comedic look at the ways relationships, family and neuroses often interlock. In Kingsway, Matt (Jeff Gladstone) is a professor who is prone to bouts of crippling self-doubt and seeing his wife’s, Lori (Colleen Rennison), car outside of a motel only enhances his anxiety. Things only get more stressful when Matt’s loving, but incessantly meddling sister, Jess (Camille Sullivan), and mother, Mary (Gabrielle Rose), decide to take matters into their own hands and uncover what Lori might be up to.
Fed up with her unrelenting in-laws and Matt’s self-centered quirks, Lori decides to end the marriage. Of course, some ties are tough to break, especially when Lori discovers she is pregnant and is not sure whether Matt is the father.
As with Sweeney’s previous works, Kingsway is a film where much of the enjoyment will come from observing the cast rattle off some truly amusing dialogue. Keeping up the tradition of Canadian comedies that tackle the complexities of love, sex and family bonds, Kingsway finds plenty of humour in the various couplings and uncoupling occurring throughout the film. Sullivan and Rose in particular, reuniting as mother and daughter onscreen for the first time since The Birdwatchers, are a treat to watch. They bring the right the level of humour to their roles, while still managing to sell the dramatic beats as well.
While an enjoyable film, Kingsway frequently travels down familiar paths. It will not take long to figure out how this romantic comedy will unfold. Even the more serious moments, take for example when the film touches on the topic of suicide and therapy, feel like wasted opportunities for deeper character exploration. As a result, Kingsway is a film that will have you laughing but does little to distinguish itself from other films in the genre.
Monday, September 10, 7:15 PM, Jackman Hall
Thursday, September 13, 9:15 PM, Scotiabank
Saturday, September 15, 9 AM, Scotiabank