Canadian filmmakers might not be able to drum up enough money to make action packed blockbusters or star-studded epics, but they know how to make a darn good comedy. If you’re looking to learn a little more about the Great White North or just trying to add some laughs to your Canada Day party, you can’t go wrong with these five films.
#5 MEN WITH BROOMS
Starring: Paul Gross, Molly Parker, Leslie Nielson
Curling is an inherently silly sport, if you ask me. You don’t even have to be physically fit to play it professionally. In this curling comedy, Paul Gross plays the leader of a team consisting of a drug dealer, a mortician, and a guy with the world’s lowest sperm count. They have to battle Scandinavian villains who wear silver pants in order to win a curling championship for their dead coach, whose ashes are packed inside their curling rocks. Plot wise it follows the ol’ sporting standard: misfit team, come from behind victory, the captain wins the girl, etc. but with any luck you’ll be laughing so hard at their ridiculous antics that you won’t even notice.
Starring: Paul Gross, Sienna Guillory, Dustin Milligan
Yes, it’s Paul Gross again, but with good reason. Gunless is a hilariously satiric Western that pokes fun at the American notion of a lawless West. When a heroic/dastardly American gunslinger arrives in a Canadian town where no guns, gunfighting, duelling, or wonton violence is allowed, suddenly the has no idea what to do with himself. Maybe he should fall in love! Or build a windmill! His clashes (or lack of clashes, if you will) with the local populace are funny, but the best part is the dumbass Mountie character and his much smarter Native “sidekick.” It would have rated higher on the list if it weren’t for some stumbling around in the story department.
#3 A DOG’S BREAKFAST
Starring: David Hewlett, Kate Hewlett, Paul McGillion
This one is a little harder to find because it was an off-season vanity project filmed using favors called in from crew of Stargate Atlantis, but it’s totally worth the extra effort. David Hewlett plays a dysfunctional recluse whose major relationship is with his dog. He receives an unwanted visit from his makeup artist sister (Hewlett’s real sister) and her soap actor boyfriend (Paul McGillion, also of SGA), whom he hates and accidentally succeeds in killing. His Telltale Heart-style efforts to hide the body are cripplingly funny, but even better are the clips of the hilariously cheesy sci-fi soap called Starcrossed that they made especially for the film.
#2 KIDS IN THE HALL: BRAIN CANDY
Starring: Dave Foley, Bruce McCullough, Kevin MacDonald, Mark McKinney, Scott Thompson
A spin-off from the popular sketch comedy series Kids in the Hall, Brain Candy follows the story of a mostly inept scientist working for a pharmaceutical company that treats pills like candy and blows money throwing parties within parties so the cool people don’t have to associate with the riff raff. While trying to cure depression, he accidentally discovers a drug that traps people in their happiest memories. Each of the “kids” plays about eight different characters and the whole thing is totally insane yet brilliantly satiric. Everything from the rose colored glasses grandmas view their families through to drug companies’ preference for money over safety is fair game.
#1 BON COP BAD COP
Starring: Colm Feore, Patrick Huard
Forget Canada, Bon Cop Bad Cop is one of the funniest movies ever made anywhere. An Ontario/Quebec co-production, it’s about an English cop and a French cop who have to team up to solve the hockey-related murder of a man who was found draped over the “Welcome to” sign at the border between the two provinces. Whether they’re giving a lesson on conjugating French curse words while stuffing suspects into the trunk of their car or arguing in two languages over whose fault it is that they just blew up a house full of marijuana, the jokes are smart, crude, and hilarious. This is the sort of movie you have to watch several times because you couldn’t stop laughing long enough to hear all the jokes.