Movie commentary from this week's Mirror:
Though some may be fearful, and others hopeful, that this is a showcase solo vehicle for Cheech Marin, it is in fact a Quebec ensemble drama. Ron (Patrice Robitaille) is the beleaguered owner of a Montreal escort service. One of those tragically aging Quebecois hipsters who rocks the Robert Charlebois '74 looks, he makes efforts to keep his frequent mood swings under control with the aid of anglo self-help books on tape. But he has trouble staying cool; his top escort Jenny (Anick Lemay) is considering going to the competition, his right-hand man Maxime (Maxime Denommé) keeps screwing up simple errands, and another one of his girls, Stéphanie (Fanny Mallette) is having a serious off day with hapless customer, Olivier (François Létourneau, who also adapted the script from his own play).
Robitaille has kept it all under control while trying to scheme up a deal with a big-time customer. The titular Cheech is the head of a rival agency, who hovers Godot-like over all the characters' actions and motivations.
Curiously, this Quebec film is often reminiscent of an English Canadian film- in particular, of Atom Egoyan's better moments. The characters are all damaged, and they're connected in ways that slowly reveal thenmselves over the course of the story. But unlike in Egoyan's work, the drama is played with emotion rather than cold alienation and lightened with touches of humour. Well executed all around by director Patrice Sauvé and the cast, it's atmospheric, intriguing and quietly affecting
p.s. ''Cheech'' is currently playing at the following cinemas: Beaubien, Cineplex Brossard, Colossus Laval, Ex Centris, Langelier, LaSalle, Marché Central, Quartier Latin and Taschereau.