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The Delicate Art of Parking

james hörner

there are very few movies I have ever considered walking out on, and this was one of them. I stuck it out to see if the movie would turn around in the end. It did not.

The Delicate Art of Parking

Why did I dislike Trent Carlson's The Delicate Art of Parking so much? The film is a comedy of stereotypes strung together with clichés. My guess is that this is the most recent example of Canadian filmmakers trying to produce something that will succeed in the export market (and, therefore, get funding to begin with and distribution later on). There's nothing wrong with trying to construct films that will have a broad appeal - but dumbing down a film to the point of brain death is inexcusable.

The story follows pretentious indie filmmaker Lonny (Dov Tiefenbach) as he tries to make a documentary about parking enforcers. He has several thousand bucks in tickets and an axe to grind. Along the way he meets geeky Grant Parker (Fred Ewanuick), the hapless parking cop who really believes in what he does. His philosophical mentor, Murray, is comatosed by a hit and run and the ensuing investigation provides the backdrop of the movie. Lonny and Grant are helped along by Olena (Diana Pavlovska), the Russian sound engineer, and Jerome (Tony Conte), the 'friendly Québécois giant' tow truck driver.

As the audience chuckled their way through this flick I questioned whether I was completely misreading the film. It's hard to tell. I watched the film in Vancouver, and the audience may have found certain comedy in the fact that they recognised most of the locations. Oh look, there's Homer St. Ha! There's the Impound lot across from 22nd St Station. Hey, is that Granville? Tee hee. This film did win some festival awards back east, so I suppose the comedy must have translated for more reasons than this.

I keep thinking I missed the joke or that I'm being terribly over-critical. Dismissing someone's hard work troubles me, but I couldn't find any redeeming qualities about this movie. Perhaps the actors should be commended for their ability to carry such lame roles and bad writing with credulity.

We're a country renowned for producing comedians. You think our expectations would be a little higher than this supposed "comical investigation".

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