Unbelievable: Bruno wakes up in bed next to Caroline, his long time crush. But tomorrow she’s off for school in France, and maybe she only granted this miracle as a parting gift for her long time friend. So tonight — tonight is Bruno’s last chance. And tonight, as it happens, Broken Social Scene, her favorite band, is throwing a big outdoor bash. Maybe if Bruno, with the help of his best pal Blake, can score tickets and give Caroline a night to remember, he can keep this miracle alive.
From Bruce McDonald Director of “Hard Core Logo”
A combination of storytelling and concert film, ‘This Movie is Broken’ is the brainchild of Canadian icons Bruce MacDonald and Don McKellar. It features a slight love story over a Broken Social Scene concert – both of which take place in Toronto.
The story is pretty thin: it involves two friends who, after many years, have suddenly slept together. We follow them for a day from morning onward, as they meet with friends and decide to go to the BSS concert – all during which the question of a romance developing between them lays hanging over their heads.
The acting by the three leads is pretty standard: nothing leaps off the screen as being exceptional, but they manage to get by with some realism. Mind you, the material doesn’t allow for much, seeing as it is short on dialogue and that some of it is buried under the sounds of a concert that is much more appealing (i.e. despite having missed bits of their exchanges due to the ambient noise at the concert, a part of me didn’t even care that much).
Having said this, the music is rather good. I don’t know Broken Social Scene, other than by reputation, but it was a great way to discover them and get a sense of what they’re about. They give the impression of being a musical collective of sorts. I especially liked seeing over a dozen band members playing together, totally in sync, and making music that sounded vibrant and pleasing to the ears. I can’t imagine many groups being able to pull that off and I’m now intrigued enough to bump their albums up on my list of things to listen to.
In the end, the story was more of a diversion from the concert than a vital part – it was something to keep your attention going while you were listening to the band’s jams. Come to think of it, it was akin to a score or soundtrack being an accompaniment to a film – but in reverse. Personally, I think that it was designed for people who would have hated to watch a concert film or who don’t really know the band too well. Having said that, fans of BSS might find that element off-putting because the love story cuts into key moments of the concert.
All in all, the results of this experiment are superior to those of ‘9 Songs’, in that it managed to meld the two parts more cohesively – even if both films had tremendous difficulty making us empathize with their characters. While it’s hardly a masterpiece, this movie is certainly not broken.