THINGS TO … DON’T!
by George Deming
published May 10, 2007
Things To Do
directed by Ted Bezaire
Can you guess any of these films?:
1 – A young twenty-something, out of school, out of a job and unsure
what to do with his life, floats on a raft in a swimming pool. We see him from
a bird’s eye view, the water sparkling and clear blue, as he drifts through the
frame. It’s a recurring image throughout the film.
2 – Unsure of the direction his life is taking, a young twenty-something
returns to his home town, reconnects with people from his past, and learns something
about himself. Soothing contemporary indie rock music flows throughout the
3 – A young twenty-something nebbish works in an office. Things go
wrong. Shenanigans ensue.
4 – A nerdy, somewhat dorky young twenty-something goes day by day
through life in his remote town. He has a hang-dog look, feels clumsy and
awkward, and is too shy to boldly approach the girl he’s attracted to.
Desperately grabbing for inspiration and imagery from such films as “The
Graduate,” “Garden State,” “Office Space” and “Napoleon Dynamite,” “Things To Do”
follows two independently wealthy young twenty-something slackers in Canada who take
it upon themselves to make a list of things they want to do before they die, and
begin doing them. Among the things is “make a great movie.” The irony is
unbearable when they cross it off their list.
We tend to get angry at Hollywood for churning out bad film after bad
film, and point to our favorite indie movie, perplexed at why they can’t spend less
money to make a better product. “Things To Do” is a reminder that most
independent films are equally terrible. The budgets may be smaller, and the
contents may be quirkier, but the cluelessness of how to create interesting stories
with interesting characters is equally epidemic.
It is a comedy, although one’s heart sinks for good early in the film
when Adam (played by co-writer / co-associate producer / co-composer / co-editor
Michael Stasko), having shunned the big city and just getting off the bus back in
his hometown, ever so unconvincingly trips and falls on his luggage. It is
painfully unfunny. Not all of the comic moments are such huge misfires, but
the tone has been set. The storytelling is equally uninspired.