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Review: Pretend We’re Kissing

April 3, 2015

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Pretend Were Kissing PosterAfter closing the Canadian Film Fest, and winning their award for “Most Awkward Sex Scene,” the charming romance Pretend We’re Kissing is opening at the Carlton today, and will also be playing at Landmark Cinemas across the country.  This is the sort of homegrown film that has the potential to become a breakout hit, and it’s every bit worth seeing.

Benny (Dov Tiefenbach) is an impossibly shy young adult who over thinks everything, and finds his life held back by his self-diagnosed agoraphobic and part-time nudist roommate Autumn (Zoë Kravitz).  But when he has a chance encounter with Jordan (Tommie-Amber Pirie) at a concert, a young woman who believes in fate and seems perfect on the surface, Benny might have just found his first real chance at true love.

With some beautifully captured Toronto moments, Pretend We’re Kissing is an assured narrative feature debut from local writer-director Matt Sadowski.  Much of the film’s success lies in the strength of his screenplay, which realistically charts the ups and downs of modern relationships with a relatable tone that often recalls vintage Woody Allen, right down to the clever uses of interior dialogue and some distinctly Jewish humour.

Zoë Kravitz adds a quirky and amusing presence to the film, and also a name that mainstream audiences will recognize.  Providing a wonderfully textured and sharply written examination of a short term love affair, believably portrayed by Dov Tiefenbach and Tommie-Amber Pirie through a pair of completely natural performances, Pretend We’re Kissing is a likeable and entertaining film that nicely subverts the typical romantic comedy tropes, to reach a genuinely sweet final scene.

Please see below for my video interviews with Dov Tiefenbach and Tommie-Amber Pirie on their leading roles and what went into doing that now infamous sex scene, and my talk with Matt Sadowski about his inspiration behind the film, casting actors and John Hughes.


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