Friday, March 06, 2009

Joshua Jackson On A Motorbike In Canada, What's Not To Like? - One Week - Movie Review

One Week (opens in Canada today, on March 6th 2009) is part onethirdlife existential crisis movie, part road trip movie, part love letter to Canada, and part love letter to Joshua Jackson on screen. And maybe it's because it releases a sense of Canadian patriotism, or maybe it's the extremely dry wit Canadian humour emphasized by the DRY and hilarious narration by Campbell Scott, or maybe it's because Joshua Jackson is just so cute, but this new Canadian release is surprisingly entertaining and enjoyable (and how very Canadian of me to be surprised that it's actually good).

When Ben (Joshua Jackson, Fringe, Dawson's Creek) finds out he's dying with only a few months to live, his first reaction is to cancel his wedding plans with his nagging fiance Samantha (Liane Balaban, Last Chance Harvey). Instead, as coincidence happens, he buys a motorbike and follows his instincts, and some instructions under a Tim Horton's Roll-Up-The-Rim-To-Win Cup (how Canadian when Timmy's becomes a major plot point?!) and drives westward from Toronto to check out every gigantic monument in Canada and to LIVE.

It's one of THOSE movies, yet with a fresh Canadian twist. And not those moody Canadian movies way (this ain't an Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg or Guy Maddin film), but more of a quiet and contemplative look at life, in a road movie format.

The joys of this film are both in Joshua Jackson's natural likability on camera (he might not be the best actor around but he belongs on the screen, small or big, and his natural charms are more fitting in a small indie movie like this, than Hollywood horror schlock that he usually gets to do) and the documentary-like love letter towards the Canadian scenery. Plus with a great Canadian music soundtrack (with of course, The Tragically Hip amongst them, and where Gord Downie makes a cameo), a beautiful turn by Emm Gryner as Tracey, and the wonderful narrative commentary by Campbell Scott, One Week manages to work the fine line between entertainingly enjoyable and contemplatively thoughtful, almost to zen-like proportions.

There are some funny asides from the butterfly effect of Ben's journey, and a somewhat way-too-obvious "Canada is the most beautiful country in the world" as said by some visiting foreigners, but director Michael McGowan has managed to breathe some new life into the "man is dying, what's he going to do existential crisis" movie.

One Week = A- or 9/10

Vance at

No comments: