Candy revels in addictive satire
review is property of its writer and publication and is reprinted
here without permission.
By Paul Cantin
After watching one Saturday Night Live cast member after another
stumble and falter on the way to Hollywood, it would be easy to
understand if fans of Kids In The Hall held their noses while
queuing up for Brain Candy.
Michaels, the man who brought you Coneheads, Stuart Saves His
Family and It's Pat, is also at the production helm of this big-screen
adaptation of the Kids' small-screen brand of anarchy. The signs
are ominous, the outlook bleak.
Brain Candy works beautifully and hilariously, a welcome mix of
wisdom, bull's-eye satire and silliness.
would have thought a film about depression could be funny?
would have believed the troupe would manage to shoehorn a rogue's
gallery of characters from their TV show into the film, and still
come through with something resembling a plot.
Brain Candy unravels, the group members -- Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch,
Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson -- slip into
and out of characters faster than Kate Moss switching clothes
backstage at a fashion show.
clearly recognizable from the TV series (and a few new ones, too)
combine with Kelly Makin's elegant direction to quickly establish
that society is infected with a virus of depression.
vision of Toronto is so bleak, you'd cry if you weren't laughing
so hard. But a crack team of researchers, lead by Chris Cooper
(McDonald) invents a new pill that locks the depressed mind onto
its happiest memory -- creating instant glee. Company chief Don
Rovitor [sic] (McKinney) is facing trouble with his board of directors,
and rushes the promising pill into production -- despite concerns
rise to fame, the marketing of the drug and the predictable scandal
gives the Kids plenty of room to riff on the media, corporate
culture, marketing strategy and our contemporary obsession with
happiness and depression.
the voice of a foul-mouthed Eastern European cab driver, Ottawa's
Mark McKinney gets to articulate the film's central theme: The
only way to be happy is to realize you can't be happy all the
Kids In The Hall's humor isn't for everyone. If you're easily
offended by naughty words, alternative lifestyles or images of
men in drag, stay home. But if you like your humor irreverent
and thoughtful, you'll find Brain Candy addictive.
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