The New York Times: Layabouts Behind a Wedding Lens in ‘Sundowners’ [Review]
By Andy Webster
December 14, 2017
A familiar comedy subgenre — that of hapless protagonists having misadventures at a wedding gathering at an exotic resort (see: “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”) — is given a low-key workout in “Sundowners,” a Canadian indie seeking to subvert expectations but offering only drollery in their place.
The feckless heroes here are Alex (the stand-up comedian Phil Hanley), a wedding videographer, and his buddy Justin (Luke Lalonde, the frontman for the Canadian band Born Ruffians, in an assured film debut), a telephone-sales rep living with his grandmother. When Alex’s boss (an entertainingly smarmy Tim Heidecker) assigns him to a ceremony at a seaside Mexican vacation spot, Alex recruits Justin to assist, despite Justin’s complete inexperience. And off they go, first to the wrong resort, and then to an assortment of colorful characters, including a nervous groom (Nick Flanagan) facing a financial meltdown; the bride’s erratic father (David John Phillips); a best man (Nick Thorburn) who covets the bride; and the bride’s randy sister (the comedian Jackie Pirico), all skillfully portrayed.
Pavan Moondi — the Toronto filmmaker who wrote, edited and directed “Sundowners” — is fond of setups without payoffs: an exchange between Justin and his ex-girlfriend (Leah Fay Goldstein) about her abortion is not followed up; the best man’s ambition to interrupt the vows is not acted upon; a suggestion from Justin that he and Alex ultimately remain in Mexico instead of returning to their unrewarding routine is shot down. Closure may be missing, but at least glimpses of promising Canadian performers are in abundant supply.
Source: The New York Times