Starring Robin Nielsen, Viv Leacock, and James Wallis. Rated 18A. Now playing at International Village
The Movie Out Here is a B.C.–shot feature perpetuated by the advertising company behind the Kokanee beer commercials. Directed by David Hicks, it’s essentially 90 minutes of product placement slapped onto a foul-mouthed comedy so inherently worthless it’s almost enough to make me hate beer. Not just Kokanee. Any beer.
The plot sounds innocuous enough. Adam, a young lawyer from Toronto (Robin Nielsen) travels back to his hometown of Fernie, B.C., on business. In the process, he decides to come to the aide of a failing local business run by his boyhood friend Theo (James Wallis). Along the way, he becomes attracted to a local woman he knew in school (Katherine Isabelle). What could go wrong?
As it turns out, plenty. Think the Kokanee commercials about sasquatches and dumb forest rangers are cute? Think again. While everyone in the movie tends to drink “responsibly”, the movie seems designed to appeal to the sensibility of a stoner in his twenties. The best you can say about it? No character of drinking age is a serial vomiter—usually a staple of the genre—presumably because puking will hurt the brand.
I realize that, in the advertising world, just mentioning the product in any context is a positive thing. I suppose this rationalizes the scenes of humiliation involving everything from incontinence to lactating breasts. I just wish there was a moment or two that was even remotely funny.
The cast—peppered with talented local actors who clearly deserve better—should not be blamed for what ultimately comes across as a misguided exercise in corporately funded shame. I felt sorry for them. But not sorry enough to offer my condolences over their beverage of choice.