Saturday, 21 March 2015

THE COCKSURE LADS MOVIE - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Richard Lester Shenanigans MIA

The Cocksure Lads Movie (2014)
Dir. Murray Foster
Starring: Lyndon Osbourne, Luke Marty, Edward Hillier, Adam McNab, Peter Higginson

Review By Greg Klymkiw

The Cocksure Lads (Lyndon Osbourne, Luke Marty, Edward Hillier, Adam McNab) are a contemporary British pop band with a decent following in Dear Old Blighty who are on the verge of launching themselves upon the North American marketplace with a tour beginning in Toronto. Accompanied by their trusty, faithful old Roadie/Driver Monty (Peter Higginson), the lads are chuffed to the gills as they set foot upon the urban hinterlands of the biggest city in the Dominion of Canada.

When an altercation erupts amongst our boys, it spells sure doom and within a few minutes of setting foot on the bland, cold streets of Toronto, they break up and go their separate ways - each one partaking of respective dalliances with a clutch of Canuck babes until the inevitable triumphant reunion on the stage of a Hog Town watering hole.

There's lots to be said for the dramatic premise of following a Brit Pop band in Canada a la Richard Lester's 1965 Beatles classic A Hard Days Night (not to mention John Boorman's delightful 1965 Dave Clark Five opus Having a Wild Weekend and the somewhat lesser blessed 1968 Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter, the Herman's Hermits' belly flop into similar territory).

Promise is one thing, execution is quite another.

Aside from a genuinely fun, funny, puckishly poppy song score by the picture's writer-director Foster and partner Mike Ford, some gorgeously shot musical numbers courtesy of ace D.P. Samy Inayeh (sprightly sliced and diced by editor Luke Sargent), a genuinely moving subplot involving the band's trusted codger-Friday Monty (and a great performance to match by Higginson), the picture pretty much takes a nosedive once the lads break up and wander about, finding romance where they least expect it, engaging in tedious soul-searching and otherwise aimlessly interacting with a variety of Canuckian denizens of T.O.

Look, this is clearly the movie Foster wanted to make, but there are far too many genuine missed opportunities here which could have spun the picture into a way more cutting edge satirical look at pop-singing Brits on the home-turf of the "colonies" - the former Dominion of Canada. I have to admit I unfairly, perhaps, kept waiting for the movie to address this in an almost self-reflective mode of fish-out-of-water-in-a-perverse-fish-in-familiar-yet-weirdly-skewed-waters.

Alas, that's a different movie, but one that might have had a lot more bite and humour than the often dreary meanderings of the plot The Cocksure Lads Movie is saddled with.

Most disappointing is the obvious chemistry between the actors playing the title characters during the opening ten minutes-or-so of the picture and then seeing that turfed by the wayside.

Ultimately, aside from the clever opening titles and musical numbers, the movie never begins to approach the anarchy and mad inspiration of the Brit-pics it's clearly modelled itself upon and we're saddled with yet another Canadian movie that fails to reach the heights of a John Paizs or Bruce McDonald, but instead feels like far too many dour slogs of the most Canadian kind - most often bearing the words "produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada".

What should have been ebullient is instead unenthusiastically dull.


The Cocksure Lads Movie is the opening night Gala of the 2015 Canadian Film Fest.