Moon Point is a very funny and sweet story with one giant fault, the lead character is a huge jerk. That’s unfortunate because the rest of the characters are great, and the story manages to be an interesting entry into the romantic comedy genre. It’s just hard to get excited when the one person we’re supposed to care about is obnoxious.
Darryl (Nick McKinlay) is an unemployed, unmotivated slacker. His cousin is preparing to get married, which only causes Darryl’s family to bother him even more about his lack of a job and a girlfriend. When Darryl finds out that his childhood crush, Sarah Cherry (Kristen Gutoskie), is in town filming a horror movie, Darryl enlists the help of his wheelchair bound friend Femur (Kyle Mac) to tow him to the set so he can find Sarah and have a date for his cousin’s wedding.
See, sounds interesting right? Along the way, Darryl and Femur run into Kristin (Paula Brancati). She’s stranded on the side of the road, running away from her own romantic problems, and decides to join the two friends on their journey of love. As they slowly travel to their destination, they run into some very eccentric characters including a karaoke singer who hates to lose and a recovering alcoholic on his way to an AA meeting dressed as a banana. All the people they run into are hilariously over the top and provide most of the laughs. It’s also hard not to chuckle as Darryl sits in a wagon being towed by Femur and his electric wheelchair.
The fact that Darryl is such a jerk frequently threatens to destroy the entire film. It’s not unusual to find a rom-com with a slacker lead, and I can accept that fact. Darryl is constantly insulting everyone around him, which only causes the viewer to want him to fail. What kind of life awaits Sarah Cherry if she happens to love Darryl? I can only picture some sort of emotionally abusive relationship happening, with Darryl constantly putting her down as he works some pointless job for minimum wage. Balancing out the story of Darryl and his quest we hope he won’t accomplish, is the story of Femur and Kristen. Their story follows the rom-com workings more appropriately as they slowly start to fall in love with each other. It’s their story that viewers will be cheering on. It’s also their story that Darryl manages to destroy at every turn.
Thankfully, so much of the story and the characters we meet are entertaining enough to distract from Darryl being a jerk. It also helps that this is a Canadian film, something I try to enjoy when I can. Art Hindle shows up as the alcoholic banana, Boyd Banks has a great scene as a very creepy ice cream truck driver, and Matt Hopkins has a wickedly funny role as a crazy innkeeper. The film is full of great Canadian faces, even if you may not be able to put a name to those faces. Such is the nature of Canadian film! Even though Darryl will likely drive viewers insane, there’s so much more to enjoy here. There’s some great surprises towards the end, and at least one character gets what’s coming to them. This could have been a fantastic film, but with a lead character that we just can’t care about, the film only winds up being good. That’s still a lot more than I can say about so many other movies out there.
Under the marquee – Will