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film review

Kristian Jordan and Hera Nalam star in I Propose We Never See Each Other Again After Tonight.Brad Crawford/Courtesy of Mongrel Media

  • I Propose That We Never See Each Other Again After Tonight
  • Written and directed by Sean Garrity
  • Starring Hera Nalam, Kristian Jordan and Andrea Macasaet
  • Classification 14A; 102 minutes

Rating:

2.5 out of 4 stars


The new Canadian rom-com I Propose That We Never See Each Other Again desperately wants to be loved. You can sense that burning desire right from the film’s opening sequence, in which writer-director Sean Garrity treats Winnipeg as a delightfully romantic, if ridiculously cold, locale to get lost in. And the movie gets so, so close to achieving its goal of complete audience seduction and surrender, too. Right before it rips your heart out with a narrative turn that has to be seen to be (dis)believed.

Writer-director Sean Garrity has a big-hearted time exploring the cultures that make Winnipeg what it is.Andrew Forbes/Courtesy of Mongrel Media

Things start off charmingly enough, with Iris (Hera Nalam) and Simon (Kristian Jordan) encountering each other after joining forces to push a car out of a snowbank, an incident that I can only assume is a traditional Winnipeg meet-cute. He’s a commitment-phobe who is carrying various emotional scars from his strict Mennonite upbringing, while she’s nursing the hurt of a soured long-term relationship, as well as the constant intrusions of her tight-knit Filipino family. Things go well enough – and Garrity has a fun, big-hearted time exploring the cultures and communities that make Winnipeg what it is – until they don’t.

Which is when the movie falls apart, with Garrity’s script turning a handful of misunderstandings into something of a gross slut-shame moment and urging his audience to feel sympathy for a man who, through his actions and inaction, reveals himself to be too-proud schmuck. If the film were interested in exploring the complexities of Simon’s immature persona, that would be one thing. But mostly, I Propose That... positions a dunce in the hero role and calls it a day.

Iris's Filipino family speak to her in un-subtitled Tagalog.Brad Crawford/Courtesy of Mongrel Media

The film does get a tremendous boost from Nalam, though. The first-time actress is immensely charming, even when the script requires her character to trip over some implausible emotional traps. Her presence, and Garrity’s interesting-but-smart decision to have her family talk to her in un-subtitled Tagalog, almost compensate for the movie’s heartbreaking romantic philosophy.

I Propose That We Never See Each Other Again After Tonight opens Sept. 4 at the Cineplex Cinemas Mississauga and Cineplex Odeon Morningside Cinemas

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