Saturday, 30 September 2017

A Swingers Weekend (2017 EIFF 2)



With a title like this, you’d be expecting some sex. Well, this low-budget Canadian comedy drama, written by Jon E. Cohen and his wife Nicola Sammeroff, and directed by Cohen, has a lot of talk about sex, but not really much sex, and no nudity at all. 

Three couples gather at a large house on a remote lake in northern Ontario to have ‘a swingers weekend’, though one of the wives (Fiona, played by Mia Kirshner) doesn’t know about the swinging until after she arrives (thus ensuring a bad start to that couple’s weekend). Fiona’s husband, Geoffrey (Jonas Chernick) thinks their 15-year marriage needs a shake-up because they haven’t had sex in almost two years. The weekend will certainly shake things up for them.

Meanwhile, Lisa and Dan (Erin Karpluk and Randal Edwards), the organizers of the weekend, also seem to need a shake-up, which they hope Skai and Teejay (Erin Agostino and Michael Xavier), an attractive young couple, can help with. Needless to say, things don’t go as planned.

There’s a lot of good natural dialogue (during the Q&A with the writers, we were informed that there was a considerable amount of improv, which worked fairly well) and lots of fresh adult humour that avoids the typical pitfalls of recent comedy dramas. The well-cast Canadian actors are what make A Swingers Weekend work. The performances are solid all around, with Edwards and Chernick standing out. 

A Swingers Weekend does suffer from some credibility issues, with some unconvincing scenes near the end, but it’s a comedy after all, so this is somewhat forgivable. All in all, this is a funny and entertaining comedy drama with some discussable moments (about relationships issues) that’s well worth a look when it comes to your local theatres (in Canada at least) in February or March. For a low-budget Canadian film, it’s particularly impressive. A solid ***. My mug is up.

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