We will forever have Canada to thank for such directors as Atom Egoyan, Guy Maddin, and David Cronenberg, but it seems for every one of their efforts—and sometimes spotty ones, as any director naturally has—there are at least a dozen of those Canadian oddities that OD on quirk and seem to only play to middling buzz at film festivals, most prominently in…Canada. Everything’s Gone Green is one such title, a trite comedy that examines Gen Y-ish ennui and the futility of believing a middle class exists, a perfectly ripe subject for any film these days, but this one buries its good intentions in a deluge of missed opportunities.
There are shards of smart bits in Douglas Coupland’s screenplay, centering on dumped, depressed 29-year-old Ryan (Paulo Costanzo) and his mission to make the almighty buck by any means necessary. He meets a cute film set dresser (Steph Song) while photographing a beached whale that all of Vancouver (shown lovingly here) turns out for, and becomes a frontman for her oily boyfriend (JR Bourne), a land developer with shady Japanese mob ties, who eventually uses Ryan for his connections to a lottery magazine that has valuable info on its winners. Meanwhile, everyone Ryan knows seems to be operating underground to make ends meet, and he must decide if the flash car he just bought is worth losing the affections of his too-good-to-be-true lass.
After about 15 minutes, you know where this is heading, except the arrival is delayed by the copious pauses held for laughs that never come. It just shows that the comedy is neither steady nor outrageous enough to make much of an impression. And while the cast is generally appealing in a corny TV-show kinda way, none have a real handle on the type of absurdist wackiness the movie so desperately strives for. Everything’s Gone Green just barely hangs there in that low-watt Canadian film world deadpan, when it calls out for a shot of adrenaline. When Ryan asks at one point about his intended’s on-set work, “Don’t they all just bleed into one big movie after awhile?,” you can’t help but wonder the same thing.