MOUNT PLEASANT (Ross Weber). 87 minutes. Opens Friday (January 26). Rating: N Rating: N
Mount Pleasant is what happens when Vancouverites remake American Beauty but forget to include a plot or compelling characters. While writer-director Ross Weber 's feature on suburban dysfunction, sex and addiction has noble intentions, we've all seen it done before much better.
The barely-there story revolves around three couples in a gentrifying Vancouver neighbourhood who eventually cross paths. Kelly Rowan (The O.C.) plays Anne, a cartoonishly controlling wife whose husband is having an affair with teenage prostitute Nadia (Toronto's Katie Boland). Meanwhile, young parents Doug (Benjamin Ratner) and Sarah (Camille Sullivan) move into a new house conveniently close to where Nadia turns tricks for her pimp/boyfriend/drug dealer.
As the film haphazardly jumps from one plot contrivance to the next (Sarah works for Anne as an indifferent drug counsellor; Doug's daughter pricks herself with a discarded needle), it's clear Weber has little idea what to do with his jaded morality play. The actors appear game for a challenge, but they can't overcome the stilted dialogue and uninspired camera work.
The brief scenes inside Nadia's drug den display a knack for lighting and set design, but the film is ultimately underdeveloped and lacks humour.