New Brunswick filmmaker Gia Milani has shown herself in the past to be a deft director of actors, and that talent almost enables her to clear the various hurdles and complications she sets for herself in the 20-something ensemble drama All the Wrong Reasons.
But those contrivances ultimately prevail. Set in a big-box store, the story concerns James, an ambitious, likeably bland manager (played by the late Cory Monteith) and his strained relations with Kate, his intimacy-averse, PTSD-suffering wife (Karine Vanasse). She observes the world from the safely detached vantage of the store’s closed-circuit surveillance system, but tentatively returns to the world of the flesh when confronted with a sensitive Irish firefighter, Simon (Kevin Zegers), who’s dealing with his own form of trauma.
And with Nicole (Emily Hampshire), a desperately struggling, sexually tactical single-mother cashier, you’re left with an awful lot of explosive emotional material packed into one little movie. The result teeters uncomfortably between dead-end-job slacker comedy and high soap, but it shows enough potential to bode well for Milani’s future.