Small town Canadian life is boring, but when the town mill goes on strike to fight the man, and everyone is out of work, things get tense. Quiet Will (Matt Close) fixes to put a band together to fill the void of his lonely days, with his sister Ronnie (Mattea Brotherton) acting as manager. Lead singer Vince (Connor Rueter) lends his charisma and angst to the group all the while thinking he’s god’s gift to the planet. With River (Maxime Lauzon) on drums and Artie (Dana Hodgson) on bass, Happy FKN Sunshine has their band together.
Ronnie and Will’s abusive, alcoholic father makes life for them difficult, while Artie has to deal with the side effects of his father’s brain surgery. The band falls apart after the first gig due to ego and corruption and an unexpected decomposing body in a bathtub. It’s not until the news that the mill is going to close that the band tries to pull together one big show before they all have to leave town to find work.
Writers Ryan Keller and James Gordon Ross‘s script feels like a collection of every teen/young adult (they’re suppose to be seniors in high school but they look like they’re in their late 20’s) trope about kids putting a band together and it falls flat nor is it interesting or original. Coupled with Derek Diorio‘s uninventive direction, this film feels like a spec script for an episode of Degrassi mixed with some Letterkenny. No real stakes, no real characters. It has nothing stimulating, save for the original songs.
Reviewed online, December 22, 2022. Running time: 98 min.
PRODUCTION: A Random Media release of an Other Animal production. Producer: Ryan Keller. Executive producers: Jonathan Hlibka & Terry E. Markus.
CREW: Director: Derek Diorio. Writers: Ryan Keller & James Gordon Ross. Cinematography: Clement Lush. Editing: Dave Clement & Sydney Cowper.
CAST: Kelly Martin, Ted Dykstra, Bridget Graham, Wes Williams, Jim Calarco, Ash Catherwood, Connor Rueter, Lewis Hodgson & Aubrey Rand.