13 November 2011

Movies: Good Neighbors

Good Neighbors (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1576440/

Victor, an elementary school teacher, moves to an apartment in a small Montreal neighborhood and tries to make friends with the other English speakers in the building, Spencer and Louise. Spencer lives on the 1st floor*, is wheelchair-bound and never leaves his apartment. 2nd-floor Louise loves cats and is fascinated with stories about a serial killing rapist in the neighborhood. Victor, living above the other two, quickly develops a crush on Louise, however his attentions are largely ignored.
Sounds like a recipe for boredom, except nothing is quite like it seems in this tenement house.

This is a smart little thriller with hints of mystery. A little bit of violence. Also, piranhas and kittycats.

Stars Jay Baruchel as Victor. You might remember him from "Freaks & Geeks" or "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" or a few other things. Scott Speedman of "Underworld" series is Spencer. Emily Hampshire is Louise. I didn't recognize her, I think I've only seen one thing she's been in ("Earthsea") and didn't even remember her from that.But it's been a few years since I watched that.

The acting is fine. The story is nice and twisty and stuff. Didn't seem especially dusty or a rehash of films past, yet isn't exactly new ground either. Regardless it makes for a good story from start to finish. The characters might do some unanticipated things, but in context of what you learn about them and their personalities, their actions aren't uncharacteristic.  The pace might seem slow at first, but give it time. Everything that happens and that you learn about the characters leads to the conclusion of the film.

I liked it. A decent import from the Canadians.

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* Note  - by 1st floor I don't mean the ground floor, 1st floor is the first floor above the ground floor. If you're confused, consider Spencer to be on the 2nd floor, Louise on the 3rd and Victor on the 4th.

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