You have probably seen too many cheesy romantic films with a perfect and happy ending. I would rather eat two bags of Cheesies than watch a telescreen generated Harlequin Romance Film. Harlequin films are designed for whom? A cholesterol nightmare would be preferable to suffering through a formulistic romantic film.
So with a degree of suspicion, I watched “A Grand Romantic Gesture” which was filmed in Toronto. I recognize the location of many of the shoots!
Although this is a film that may turn you on your head if you are a lover of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet which I have seen at the Stratford Festival in Ontario you just might find a deeper meaning to the film.
Ava is a 50’ish biomedical researcher living in Toronto who has been in polite terms “downsized” so in her perspective has resulted n the average age of an employee being reduced to 12. A very insightful, truthful and cutting comment that won me over early on in the film!
Her husband Matty apparently has mapped out her post corporate career for her and that is to enroll in a cooking class to prepare Ava for minding her soon to be born grandchild. Everything is expected but nothing is consulted!
Ava is no chef and seizes the opportunity at the community college to transfer into a drama workshop not telling husband and daughter lest she upset their selfish and sexist expectations. Initially slotted for a supporting role in Romeo and Juliet along with Simon a “happily unmarried” man of the same age both are slotted to the lead roles of Romeo and Juliet.
A romance develops reluctantly and awkwardly to the point they are sleeping together. Ava has a bit of revenge on her mind as Matty had an affair shortly after she became pregnant. As Shakespeare quilled in the play “Love is a Madness Most Indiscrete!
Simon’s wife Roz sees what is going down but Ava’s husband Matty simply can’t believe it.
Ava decides to end it all. It would appear it is game over. All signs point to an amicable split with Simon and so be it. But does real romance die with convenient thoughts?
I must say on occasion in Toronto I will venture to a Costco in a suburb Vaughn which is north of Toronto and sometimes I will take city streets as opposed to the highway and in the middle of “nowhere” there is a strange motel which I have thought why is this motel here? The film has a couple of scenes at this motel and my suspicions are confirmed!
So if you are looking to view an intelligent rom movie instead of some palaver you will enjoy this film.
BAFTA winner Gina McKee shines as a somewhat rebellious Ava and her foil Simon (Douglas Hodge) matches her muddled confidence.
You can see the trailer here https://vimeo.com/623537747
This 107-minute film will be released on digital platforms on 8Febuary2022.