Toronto On My Mind

by Djb September 12, 2008
Toronto International Film Festival

Eric will try and argue that I slept through the entire film, but in fact I only lost about five minutes somewhere between a French girl running around Monaco in a sun hat and the same girl getting nailed on a scooter and being turned into... fine, I'll say it, French toast. The middle of the film looked like the parts of my eyelids that I only get to see when the line at the AMC doesn't let us in to the theater until five minutes before the screening starts, so that I don't have time to buy coffee before the film.

Fine. I slept through the whole thing.

Okay. A couple of caveats before we talk about our next film. First, I'll abstain from spoilers on this one, because there's a part of me that thinks this movie is going to get out there one day, because there are funny people in it who were, at least initially, supposed to be doing funny things. Second, there is a show on television called The Daily Show of which I have not missed an episode since, possibly, ever. I have an almost Rain Man-esque need to watch it, and if I go away for a week, I will hole up in my apartment upon my return and watch the entire week's worth all in one go. A fair share of correspondents have not been commensurate with the show's quality, but those people tend to disappear after a while (Dan Bakkadahl, we were happy to have hardly known you). And though I have a weekly telephone call with my mother to discuss just how unfunny Rob Riggle STILL IS, The Daily Show is the single thing in the universe that leaves with me with almost nothing to complain about.

High on my list of favorite Daily Show presences ever are Samantha Bee and Jason Jones. So when this year's TIFF program featured a film written by Jones and Mike Beaver and starring titans of comedy including Bee, Dave Foley... eh, the list goes on and on. I was so excited at the prospect of seeing it that, before we even got to the theater, I had begun scripting the word-of-mouth email to friends and family about how funny Coopers' Camera was.

Ninety minutes later, I felt the need to expand my audience. So here's what I would have written instead:

Dear world:

Tonight at the Toronto International Film Festival, I saw a movie entitled Coopers' Camera, starring some of my most beloved comedy icons of the past decade. Even the conceit of the movie is inherently funny: it's Christmas, 1985, and Gord Cooper has bought his family the gift of a state-of-the-art VHS video recorder. Footage was shot throughout holiday and then edited into a feature. Here are the results. How could this go wrong?

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