Imagine Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Done it? Good. Now imagine Bill Murray in Groundhog Day as three twenty-something recovering drug addicts in a twelve-step program. Only in this version, instead of trying to win the heart of Minnie Driver and learning to do all sort of neat tricks, they are harassing drug dealers, smoking crystal meth, killing cops and raping fifteen year old girls. Fun for the whole family, this is not.
So whilst the basic premise of the film is Groundhog Day, this provides a far bleaker answer to the question “what would you do if your actions had no consequences?” We quickly find out in this version although things start out as adolescent hi-jinks they soon spiral out of control. If only one of them had decided to learn to play blues piano like a pro…
Anyway, for all the unpleasantness, this filmic device is actually very appropriate for the main theme of the movie, namely learning to deal with the problems of your past and moving on. In the background of all this, the three recovering addicts are tasked with fulfilling step nine of their twelve-step program; apologise to people you’ve hurt in your past due to your drug abuse. For one guy and one girl, it’s their fathers (one in jail, one in hospital, respectively), for the other guy it’s his fifteen year old sister.
Although it’s a nice idea and is executed pretty well, the script hardly sparkles and the set-up for the third act, whilst technically not a plot hole and quite easy to overlook, is pretty weak. Despite this, it moves along nicely and despite the low-budget, the visuals are good. There are no big name actors involved in this small Canadian movie, but you might recognise the leads from some other films. Nevertheless, they are all clearly solid actors and with stronger material you get the feeling they could have been even better.
Fun fact: The script is by the co-writer of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.