Oh! Canada: Canadian Comedy Shorts

Oh! Canada: Canadian Comedy Shorts
Aside from an amusing comment about tampons in Big Pharma and the implication that a young woman fornicates with a Starbucks coffee cup in Boyfriend Latte, very few laughs are derived from this series of shorts. Some of the shorts are fairly clever and a French-speaking Liane Balaban is sure to intrigue some viewers but clichéd hockey and rabbi jokes put a serious drain on any intended amusement. Must Canada be defined by hockey fans, beavers, poutine, milk in a bag and low budget movies about sexual perversion?

Dave Foley and Fans is an amusing, and brief, look at two enthusiastic Kids in the Hall fans who find Dave Foley in a Toronto hotel lobby. It’s true, most people don’t know what a Gemini is and also that it was Mark McKinney who was the chicken lady. It’s too bad full-frontal Postal nudity wasn’t brought up.

The Bar aims to mix spoof with film noir but succeeds more so in feeling overlong and only mildly inspired. It is, however, Citizen Kane in comparison to About Face, which is a short comedy about Facebook. That’s right, folks: Facebook. Were there no Paris Hilton or Tim Hortons jokes to be made?

Equally irritating is Back in ’93, a short film about a Montreal Canadiens fan living amongst Leaf fans. People who enjoy Corner Gas and The Great Canadian Air Farce might be amused but everyone else should take a washroom break. On the other hand, Boyfriend Latte is a somewhat amusing, if uneven and poorly paced, look at a young woman who finds love with a coffee cup. It’s entirely random and features Nikkie Payne in a best friend role, which alone makes it a must-see.

Next up is a three-minute short about a skateboarding hippo, followed by an almost unwatchable short called Fangover, about a French-Canadian vampire who is seeing a therapist about his inability to bite. It’s funny because it’s an allegory for impotence. Thank God for the fast-forward button.

Starting out strong but plundering into adequate-ville is Big Pharma, a sassy satire about prescription drugs and their endless side effects. Early moments of dry wit are strong but drug montages draw onwards with little momentum. It’s one of the more entertaining shorts in this program, as is The Heist, a film about a man who has the perfect crime planned out, almost.

Before the solid final short The Canadian Shield, about a horseless Mountie, a foxy French-Canadian ingénue and a beaver-capped villain, audiences are forced to endure Song of Slomon, a poorly made and entirely dull look at an Orthodox Rabbi who becomes obsessed with a dance track.