By Kevin Scott
In its fiercely funny depiction of a specific brand of late 20s malaise brought on by the increasingly complicated world of dating and the half-hearted pursuits of something resembling a career, Pavan Moondi’s Everyday is Like Sunday is an understated gem. For the meandering characters, this is a time when the steadily encroaching responsibilities of adulthood are staved off by chasing fleeting connections with the opposite sex or sharing a drink (or three) with friends while engaging in spirited conversation.
The film centers upon a group of roommates living in Toronto, all still seeking some missing piece of the puzzle in achieving fulfillment. Mark (David Dineen-Porter) is six months out of a relationship and not only unemployed, has an impressive streak of unsuccessful job interviews under his belt. Jason (Adam Gurfinkel) and Flora (Coral Osborne) are in a serious relationship, though they are in the midst of a particularly tense period. He’s a fledgling musician making ends meet at a pizza place, while she’s a music journalist with a roving eye for Damien (Nick Thorburn, of the group Islands), the pretentious frontman of buzz band Tomorrow’s Phoenix.
While at a bar one night, Mark meets Anelie (Bo Martyn), an attractive student, and they end up spending a magical night talking into the wee hours of the morning without actually having sex. He celebrates the occasion in a hilarious scene by jumping into bed with Jason and Flora, proclaiming his excitement like a love-struck maniac. When he discovers in the coming weeks that things have clearly cooled off between him and Anelie, he naturally spirals into a pit of despair.
Marrying the same priority of comic banter over plot points as Whit Stillman, with the loose, improvisational style of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the film is rife with quotable lines and amusing pop-culture references. While all of the actors deliver refreshingly unaffected performances, Dineen-Porter has an especially magnetic on-screen presence that enlivens every scene with an air of unpredictability, while Thorburn is delightfully smarmy in his memorable supporting role. The use of Islands’ “Where There’s A Will There’s A Whalebone” to underscore a gleefully indulgent night of drinking is just one highlight of the film’s impressive soundtrack.
Moondi makes the most of a small budget in a surprisingly assured debut feature, shooting around the city at locations like the bar Unlovable and Queen Video. Considering the Canadian film industry is always desperate for intelligent comedies to balance our preoccupation with overwrought family dramas, this one succeeds by accepting its limitations.
In narrowing the focus to crafting realistically tangential exchanges between these friends, Everyday is Like Sunday finds the best way to portray lives that could accurately be described at this point as one long digression. (iThentic)