Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Anyone going into the DVD viewing of Canadian Director Paul Fox’s comedy ‘Everything’s Gone Green’ based on the marketing campaign classifying this as a ‘Slacker Comedy’ will be hugely disappointed.  I mean HUGELY disappointed.  ‘Clerks’ this ain’t.  Fortunately for me, the vast majority of movies I watch on DVD that don’t star Seagal, Snipes and Van Damme, I have no IDEA what they are about as these are just disks laying around and  I just toss one into the DVD player with no rhyme or reason.  As such, I’m not disappointed by ‘Everything’s Gone Green’ because I didn’t know until after I saw it that it was supposed to be a ‘slacker comedy’.  What this flick is, however is the kind of film that I’ve become accustomed to seeing from the Great White North, a quirky, well crafted relationship comedy.  But only comedic in a sense as these film are rarely laugh out loud funny, but mildly amusing and ‘Everything’s Gone Green’ certainly has its amusing  moments.

In the span of the films first five minutes Ryan (Paul Costanzo) loses his girlfriend, his job and has no place to live.  Now, to further illustrate how much of a slacker Ryan ISN’T, he has a girlfriend, a home, a job AND a car.  I know slackers.  Hell, I’m related to slackers and having any two of those four things, at least in the United States, automatically eliminates one from slacker contention.  Now maybe Canadians expect more from the twenty-somethings, but Ryan is, or at least was doing pretty damn good as far as I could tell.  Through a comically tragic turn of events, Ryan is able to replace his old job with a new one working for the Provincial lottery commission writing blurbs about the folks who actually win the lottery and taking their photos.

Ryan is at a crossroads you see.  At the age of 29, a lot of his friends are married or have careers where as Ryan is newly single and simply has a job.  He wants more out of life, but isn’t quite sure what that more is.  He meets a pretty girl (Steph Song) who has him mesmerized, but the pretty girl has an asshole boyfriend who suffers from none of the insecurity that Ryan is suffering from.  His parents aren’t much help as they seem about as confused about there lives as Ryan is about his, and his older brother’s hard driving quest for success also holds little interest for our confused ‘slacker’.  So where does this leave poor Ryan?  Well, being as how this a quirky independent picture that takes place in Vancouver, it doesn’t have to lead anywhere in particular, and if the director wanted to cut the movie in mid sentence and fade to black, he could do that because this is a quirky, Canadian independent feature.  He doesn’t, but he could and he would be justified.  Anyway, the young grasshopper learns that he must create his own path and follow the path that isn’t coming to him, or something.

To further illustrate my point about ‘Everything’s Gone Green’ not being a slacker flick, I hate slacker flicks.  Who in the world can be entertained by watching a movie about some dude that has no drive, ambition, goals or desires outside of getting stoned?  As far as I’m concerned, Sean Penn closed the book on slackers back in 1983.  So since I hate slacker flicks, ‘Everything’s Gone Green’ can’t be a slacker flick considering I enjoyed this wacky little slice of Vancouver life.  What ultimately breathes life in this film and carries it from first frame to last is the inherent likeability of the characters inhabiting this world.  The performances, particularly by lead Paul Costanzo, are real, natural and seemingly effortless.  For a character driven film such as this one to work, it is paramount that you actually give a damn about what happens to the characters and can in someway identify with them.  Do I have anything in common with a blue-eyed, twenty-nine year old single Canadian?  Why hell to the no, but it is fairly easy to find common ground with a person who is unsure about the future, wondering where their life went, wondering where its going and why their parents are all screwed up. 

There’s not a lot to ‘Everything’s Gone Green’ in the sense of plot, action, or substance with a lot of the film being underlying subtext and open to interpretation from any number of angles and from my angle point it interprets quite well.  This isn’t a film that’s going to reach a large audience, but those who it does reach I think will be surprised by how much they end up enjoying ‘Everything’s Gone Green’.

Real Time Web