Rating: ★★★★ ½ (out of 5)
A childhood crush. We’ve all had one. That girl or boy who just made you smile. That very special person who you always wanted to spend time with. Puppy love or baby love as some call it. Those are precious moments that many keep dear to their heart. Sounds cheesy but deep inside you know those times were special. Would you have ever thought that a movie would ever be made based on some guys grade-school crush? Well, it has now.
Moon Point, directed by Sean Cisterna and written by Robert Lazar, tells the story of a socially awkward kid named Darryl Strozka (Nick McKinlay) who could care less about life and seems destined to live at home with his mother. With his cousin Lars’ (James Hartnett) wedding coming up and everybody still thinking of him as the biggest loser to grace planet earth, Darryl sets off on a little adventure to a film-set in Moon Point to find his elementary school crush, now actress, Sarah Cherry (Kristen Gutoskie) and bring her back as his date to the wedding. Accompanying him on his journey is his best friend who is affectionately known as Femur (Kyle Mac). Together, with Femur’s electric wheelchair & wagon, they set out into the horizon to make the long journey to Moon Point. Of course, like all randomly planned adventures, things just don’t go according to plan. Even with the whole plan going down the drain, these determined boys end up with something worth all the effort.
Many films these days focus on the complexities of life and provide a stunning visual experience to understand it all. War, relationships, struggle, power – whatever it is, you are always given this grand movie-going experience that is unforgettable and rewarding too. However, the little things in life are never really talked about. Playing a soccer game with your sibling; watching a movie with your best friends; enjoying a lovely walk down a quiet street with someone you truly care about. A bit cheesy some might say. How would such simple things be made into a movie? What could you possibly put in to give it content worth watching? Sometimes the simplest things can be the easiest to create a story on.
What Cisterna and Lazar have done is make a down-to-earth, moving and truly wonderful film. You are introduced to these characters that live an ordinary life with everyday problems. Very much like the real world to be honest. Darryl is what society would see as the typical loser who hasn’t quite grown up. Yet, he still holds to heart something very dear to him, something worth making an effort to look for. We all have done it. We all have had that project, that family member or that special someone you would go that extra mile for. What is showcased with Moon Point is a story that we can all relate to, with a touch of randomness and a bit of humour – very much like life.
There are two beautiful things about this movie: the flow of the story and the performances by cast. The story is remarkably simple, yet powerful at the same time. A bit of weirdness here and a bit of quirkiness there, but one that lets the characters shine. The cast is absolutely brilliant. McKinlay not just acts Darryl, but becomes him. That over-smart attitude and ambition-less flare nails the character perfectly. Mac portays Femur with the level of internal struggle and pain that we would expect his character to feel. No one can understand how a cripple feels like unless they were or are one. With Mac’s performance, you can’t help but connect and feel a portion of his pain. Then of course there is Paula Brancati’s Kristin. Kristin joins the duo in the middle of their journey and the confidence that Brancati adds to her role is brilliant. Her character not only compliments McKinlay’s & Mac’s performances but adds a very unique flare to the whole story.
I could frankly go on until next week but no matter how many words are used, the comfort you get from watching this film is indescribable. This is not one of those movies you criticize and break down and be like “this element doesn’t work” and all that jazz. What it does do is take you back down memory lane to a beautiful memory from way back when. Its a movie you experience than understand; feel rather than analyze. Its a brilliant film and definitely worth the watch.
Nice work Cisterna, nice work!
Moon Point has a limited run from February 3rd to February 10th at AMC Yonge & Dundas. There will be a special Q&A with the cast during the evening screenings on February 3rd and 4th. For ticket information CLICK HERE or visit www.amctheatres.com. Make sure to check out the trailer below and visit the official website at www.moonpointmovie.com