Inside Out 2024: 'We Forgot to Break Up' Pens a Love Song for Toronto's Music Scene

Directed by Karen Knox

Starring Lane Webber, Daniel Gravelle, June Laporte

Photo courtesy of Motel Pictures Inc.

BY Lindsay ClarkePublished May 28, 2024


Karen Knox's We Forgot to Break Up is the whole package for followers of Toronto indie music. It chronicles the brief rise to fame of a fictional early aughts band, the New Normals, after they move from small-town Ontario to Toronto to kick off their musical career.

Peppered with fun local references, the film contains plenty of shots of everyone's favourite Toronto venues like Sneaky Dee's and the Rex, the band's drummer sporting a Fugazi shirt, and an ever-essential Pixies cover.

Rather than dwelling on the plethora of reasons one would leave a small town for the Big Smoke (sexuality, gender, stagnation, etc.), We Forgot to Break Up focuses on the band members' relationships with one another. The beauty is in the escape — the reminder that it's possible to find a new normal.

This eloquent storytelling is supported by a talented cast and crew whose names will certainly be popping up more and more in the next couple years. The acting is endlessly compelling, and the songs the New Normals play stay stuck in the head. I eagerly await the moment when I can add their songs to my Spotify playlist "Music to Cry To."

But the place where We Forgot to Break Up shines the most is in its ability to equally represent both the excitement and heartbreak of young adulthood — the pain of breaking up, of pining after someone, of taking what you have for granted. We Forgot to Break Up takes place over the span of a few short years, but by the end, Evan and the rest of the band have learned so much (and yet so little) that it feels like a lifetime of experiences.

The film encapsulates what it means to be an artist in their early 20s — a constant barrage of things to learn, whether it's the chords to a new song or how easy it is to hurt loved ones. The difficulty of balancing careers, friendships, romance and passions. In this way, it's easy to relate to the characters in We Forgot to Break Up, especially for Canadian artists who moved to Toronto for bigger things. Artists who sometimes have to go back to their hometowns.

A love letter — or rather, love song — to early adulthood, art and Toronto's bustling music scene, We Forgot to Break Up is a poignant  yet joyous movie-going experience.

Inside Out 2024 takes place from May 24 to June 1 in Toronto and online. Find details, including information about tickets, at the festival's website.

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