Kiss and Cry is a lovely Canadian companion to Josh Boone’s crowd-pleaser The Fault in Our Stars.
Right away, there are undeniable thematic and romantic connections since both films feature an ambitious young woman facing cancer while wrapped up in a tender relationship. Underneath those obvious links, however, is affectionate characterization. A poignant delicacy that allows the audience to care for the characters and offer our attention as support. It’s why films like The Fault in Our Stars or Kiss and Cry work so well. I swear there isn’t a regional bias when I state that the latter is a more authentic flick.
By watching Kiss and Cry, movie goers catch a more sentimental side to director Sean Cisterna. After making a quirky road comedy Moon Point and a documentary about a dream chaser, 30 Ghosts, his latest features the filmmaker in a sentimental zone that appears natural for him. Cisterna finds a sweet spot between doughy emotion and honest reality that gives the real-life story of figure skater Carley Allison a glow of warm comfort and heartfelt sympathy. The cuter moments involving Carley joking around with friends and sassing her boyfriend (Luke Bilyk) are infectiously happy.
A collection of spirited performances also drive Kiss and Cry, including supporting roles from Brittany Bristow, Julia Tomasone, Sergio Di Zio, and Chantal Kreviazuk as Carley’s supportive family, along with a memorable turn by Naomi Snieckus (Two 4 One, TV’s Mr. D). The film is undoubtably stolen by Sarah Fisher though. The former Degrassi actress is an absolute revelation as Carley Allison, commanding the screen whenever music leads her soul.
Kiss and Cry isn’t just a solid romantic recommendation for Valentine’s Day. It’s an all-around great film.