The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship brings together four essential elements of the human experience: Food, Wine, Sex and Music. In the opening frames sex takes centre stage. Cat (Krista Briges) is in the middle of an afternoon romp with Richard (David Cubitt) both know the relationship has to end when they are interrupted by Cat’s husband Freddy (Enrico Colantoni) sudden return home forcing Richard to scramble and make his escape. The physical distance between Freddie and Cat is immediately apparent. Freddy announces that he has to go on a business trip to Niagara Wine country, Cat decides to tag along which sparks the interest of Richard (Freddy’s publishing boss) to make the trip along with his 20 something girlfriend Amy (Brooke Palsson).
The Niagara Wine country experience is the backbone of the film. All of the sights and sounds of the region are prominently on display. As the foursome arrive into town down the main drag they pass the Historic Prince Edward Hotel, several wineries are featured prominently along with tandem biking and even the cracking sound amongst the vines to keep birds away from the grapes. The helicopter overhead shots of the rolling vineyards are full of colour capturing the undulation of the land below.
The narrative itself is a tale that has been told many times before. Relationships get stale, face a crisis that either strengthens or destroys them. Freddy is absent in his with Cat. He is focused on his food critic work a world in which he is a highly respected player. Meanwhile Cat who had a shot at being a prominent musician is home teaching piano lessons to fourth graders.
The supporting players that fill out Freddy’s food critic circle produce the most notable performances in the production. Kristina Nicoll as the recently widowed open to new experience hard drinking Heddy. Alongside Alvaro D’Antonio and Tony Nappo as Max & Darren a couple from Rochester that took their vows in Niagara 5 years ago add energy to the film. Nappo supplies the best comedic moments of the piece as he has a some knowledge not known by all of the weekend attendees that he struggles with whether to reveal or not.
The Colossal Failure of a Modern Relationship is a tourism’s board dream. The wine, food, ambiance skillfully presented under the watchful eye of cinematographer Peter Benison will lead hoards of viewers to Niagara On the Lake in the very near future. The film itself does not break new ground in the relationship field neither does the story stand in as a blueprint for all modern relationships. But if you’re looking for a light watch in a beautifully shot setting the film is worth a look.
** ½ Out of 4.
The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship | Sergio Navarretta | Canada | 103 Minutes.
Tags: Cheating, Affair, Food Critic, Wine, Cheese, Winery, Niagara, Tandem Bike, Piano