TIFF 2017 Movie Review: DON’T TALK TO IRENE (Canada)

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

DON’T TALK TO IRENE.jpgWhen Irene – the fattest girl in high school – gets suspended, she must endure two weeks of community service at a retirement home.

Director: Pat Mills
Writers: Pat Mills
Stars: Michelle McLeod, Anastasia Phillips, Scott Thompson

Review by Gilbert Seah

Irene Willis (Michelle McLeod) lives in a town of a small fictional town of Parc supposed to be just north of Toronto. It is described in the film as the worst of small towns, where Irene goes to the worst of high schools.

Her cycle of life is predictable and bland. Fuelled by the dream of becoming a cheerleader, but constantly told by both her overprotective mother (Anastasia Philips) and classmates that she does not fit the role of a cheerleader. But Geena Davis, speaking to Irene via the A League of Their Own poster on her bedroom wall tells her “Never quit!”

She rounds up her new-found circle of elderly friends in a senior home into an unlikely dance troupe. The film has the age old story which audiences have seen time and again.

Despite the story’s limitations, the film benefits for the sly humour of its writer/director Pat Mills. McLeod is a rare find and is able to carry the film well. The film contains a nice surprise with the actual appearance of Geena Davis. Everyone loves a feel-good movie.

Undemanding viewers should lap this tale up, with no problem at all. Critics can only wince at the goings-on of this girl that finally makes good.



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