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Happily Ever After follows documentarian Heather (Janet Montgomery), who returns to her rural roots to visit her ailing father, and to film the wedding video for former BFF Sarah (Sara Paxton).

Courtesy of GAT

2.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Happily Ever After
Written by
Joan Carr-Wiggin, Savitri Gordian
Directed by
Joan Carr-Wiggin
Starring
Janet Montgomery, Sara Paxton, Alex Kingston
Classification
14A
Country
Canada/UK
Language
English

Ignore, for a moment, the generic title and the laborious first 20 minutes, and you can appreciate this mostly heartfelt, mostly sincere comedy-drama about trying to outrun your small-town past.

This U.K.-Canada co-production also nicely echoes another Toronto release this week – the Germany-Canada co-pro Coconut Hero – in that both go to desperate lengths to get across the message that small-town Ontario isn't actually a hell hole through which all ambition is sucked down.

In this film's case, director Joan Carr-Wiggin focuses on documentarian Heather (Janet Montgomery), who returns to her rural roots to visit her ailing father, and to film the wedding video for former BFF Sarah (Sara Paxton). The usual Canadian indie themes pop up – secrets, lies, reconciliation etc. – but Carr-Wiggin keeps things humming along at a pleasing, if not necessarily riveting, pace.

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