Good Neighbours opens in theatres this weekend and is a dark and twisted trip back in time to a cold and divided Montreal in the weeks leading up to the 1995 referendum. But the film isn’t really about politics rather a love tryst between a girl and two guys that is haunted by a local serial rapist and killer. Director, and screenwriter, Jacob Tierney adapted the script from Chrystine Bruillet’s novel, Chere Voisine: It’s definitely a fucked up plot but one that allows for comedy, even if it makes you feel like a sick pervert.
As someone who attended Concordia University in the nineties, I enjoyed the Montreal scenes, from the icy fire escapes to the desolate cold bridges, it brought back memories of a time before the Internet, and for that reason alone, I was transfixed. Beyond that, the dynamic between the three main characters, Louise, Victor and Spencer (Emily Hampshire, Jay Baruchel and Scott Speedman) was an unusual one. Usually, in the movies, a girl who attracts the attention of two young men is flirty, outgoing, cute and precocious. Louise is none of the above rather she is aloof, bitchy and socially awkward and almost mean. Some would call this mysterious and sexy but in any case, she has them wrapped around her finger and the chemistry is entirely believable but more so, intriguing.
Whether you are seeking a sprinkle of nostalgia from yesteryear or want a homegrown thriller to churn your tummy, Good Neighbours will satisfy. A favourite from TIFF 2010, this film is a telling example of what talented young Canadians are creating right now.