Aside from being the penultimate film of "Glee" star Cory Monteith, the 2013 Canadian drama "All the Wrong Reasons" is notable for exceeding expectations. Finding far more substance and quality than the anticipated wooden acting and thoroughly cliched plots makes the recent Monarch Home Entertainment DVD release of "Reasons," which scored writer/director Gia Milani three film festival awards, worth watching.
The ensemble in "Reasons" consists of four 20-something employees of a fictional Target/Wal-Mart hybrid store. The dystopia that pervades their lives validates the thoughts in the three-part Unreal TV manifesto on that subject. The most depressing aspects of the depiction of that state in "Reasons" are that the despair occurs in Canada and hits characters that young that hard.
The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the spoiler-laden trailer for "Reasons" does a good job introducing the characters and themes of the film.
Monteith plays store manager James Ascher; the effectively "blue light" event that plagues him is that the long-term effects of wife/co-worker Kate Ascher experiencing a trauma a year earlier include an inability to engage in any form of physical contact with anyone.
Clerk Nicole is a stereotypical single mother working a McJob while trying to care for the small child of a deadbeat dad. Former firefighter Simon, who is working in the store while trying to get reinstated as a firefighter following a serious work-related injury, rounds out the quartet.
Both the events of the film and the backstories of the characters intersect both in how those elements of their lives affect the others and the bonds that develop between them. A common thread is that each (like the rest of us) of them requires physical and emotional intimacy.
Memorable scenes include James awesomely humiliating the aforementioned deadbeat dad, surveillance camera monitor Kate repeatedly witnessing depraved behavior by customers, and eager young assistant manager Radley cluelessly trying to play the role of authority figure. The only aspect of retail world missing from these scenes is the Wal-Mart shuffle, which consists of employees power walking away on making eye contact with a customer who requires assistance.
The award for most absurd scene goes to a segment in which Kate incredibly over-reacts regarding a store emergency requiring that she temporarily relinquish her private office. Anyone who responds in the manner that she does would not be able to walk out the front door each morning.
On a more general level, "Reasons" is a good film that seems to largely reflect the reality of middle and lower-middle class millennials. Their lives are far less than great, but they manage to keep a roof over their heads and to accept that their prospects are not so wonderful.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Reasons" is welcome to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.