Oh hey, there’s the angst I’ve missed so much!
This is not going to be an easy review to write. First, let me say that Grown Up Movie Star is brilliantly written, acted, and directed. Every detail is impeccably done and feels so authentic (I guess. I mean, what do I know about small-town Newfoundland?)
Which just made the movie that much more painful to sit through. All the main characters are horribly miserable and messed up, doing messed-up things to themselves and each other. Ray the divorced father, ex-NHL player forced to resign in disgrace after getting caught smuggling pot, forced to be a single parent and with no clue how to go about it, seeing a local (male) hockey coach on the sly. Lonely Stuart, Ray’s best friend, stuck in a wheelchair because of Ray, only interacting with other people from behind his camera. Ray’s older daughter Ruby, hating her life, blaming her father for everything, dreaming of Hollywood stardom and fetishizing America.
I cringed, I laughed, I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t look away because dammit I cared about these assholes! That’s talent, right there; kudos to director Adriana Maggs and to all the actors for sketching out the characters’ lives so realistically and making me feel for them.
PS: Okay, about the microwave. I think the director put it in as a bit of symbolism, to track of state of Ray and Ruby’s lives. At first Ray wrestles it away from his ex-wife; he doesn’t really want it, he just doesn’t want her to have it, and indeed it just gets to sit in the driveway for the rest of the film. On one occasion he beats it up, and in a later scene tries to lift it but can’t. Then, after after everything blows up right in everybody’s face, Ray comes back from jail and peace is declared the whole family is ready to throw the piece of junk away. A little obvious, sure, but only in hindsight and it didn’t detract from the rest of the experience.