A71 Entertainment Inc
By Natalie Paterson
Put a nerd in a room with a hippie, and throw a hopeless romantic into the mix. This is the interesting dynamic we get to experience through Pretend We’re Kissing, and it’s oddly captivating. Starring Dov Tiefenbach, Zoë Kravitz, and Tommie-Amber Pirie, this Toronto-based indie film surprised me and made me both smile and cringe in places.
The film follows Benny (Tiefenbach), a self-employed poster maker. The film is enhanced for the viewer via Benny’s thoughts as well as the banter he attempts to make with his roommate Autumn (Kravitz), a self-diagnosed agoraphobic, and his love interest Jordan (Pirie), who believes that love is magical and that fate plays a big part in their crazy world. Benny is this adorably awkward nerd who doesn’t seem to be his own person, seemingly fading into the background at the beginning of the movie. Autumn sees this and reminds Benny that he has to stand out on his own, and tells him “Stop being a Benny, but be yourself.”
The viewer gets to experience what appears to be Benny’s first venture into romance with Jordan, and it is adorable and cringe-worthy all at once, but it works. The audience is rooting for this relationship to work even though we see that the dynamic begins to break apart, which happens in many relationships. This film focuses heavily on relationships, but it ends on one that you didn’t know you were rooting for, but end up wanting to see where it goes. At least I did.
Seeing the Toronto locales gave the film a bit more of a close to home feel, and allowed for a more personal touch considering this reviewer’s city of residence. I became a bit more immersed in the world the film was trying to create. All in all, it was incredibly well done, and I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for an awkward rom-com to see on your day off, or just for a change of pace.
The film kicks off the inaugural Canadian Indie Film Series, and will be released in Toronto at the Carlton Theatre on April 3rd. Check this one out!