Combining an interracial friendship with an age-old love story is certainly a worthy idea, but this poorly executed film is riddled with every cliché in the book and then some. From the moment they meet as kids, John Myron (Simon Baker) is completely enchanted with spunky, spirited Angela Wilson (Alexandra Purvis), particularly after she steps up and defends him against a bully at his first communion. Angela's troubled home life, however, doesn't leave her much time to pay John much mind: Wheelchair-bound due to complications from Agent Orange, Angela's beloved father (Rob Roy) has caught his wife (Theresa Russell) with another man, and shortly after commits suicide. Nevertheless, John senses a strong connection to Angela and befriends her, even though their bond is frowned upon by many in the small-minded, provincial world of Saskatchewan because John is Cree and Angela is white. John's father, however, is much more accepting. He admires Angela's spirit and teaches her the ways of their tribe; he even tries to protect her from harm, especially when her mother's sleazy boyfriend tries to sexually abuse her. Fast-forward a few years and the teenage Angela (Mia Kirshner) is an aspiring actress starring in high-school plays; John (Adam Beach) works on lighting design in order to spend more time with her. He's tolerant when she starts going out with other guys, but is really up in arms when she starts dating T.J. (Gabriel Olds), the son of a wealthy local real-estate agent. T.J. is itching to get out of town, which suits Angela just fine, but he's too rough with her and brags to all his chums about their sexual experiences. Jealous T.J. refuses to share his girlfriend with John and orders Angela to drop her loyal friend, but then allows his two best friends to gang-rape her in a hotel room. Angela flees town, leaving John and her mother behind, but the deep connection that John always felt bound them together proves to be stronger than time and distance, particularly after an even greater tragedy strikes. While Kirshner and Beach are perfectly capable actors, the melodramatic material tempts them into overacting and, unfortunately, they both succumb. The sappy story, meanwhile, is fraught with more twists and turns than any one movie should have and meanders for much too long before finally reaching its inevitable conclusion.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: NR
- Review: Combining an interracial friendship with an age-old love story is certainly a worthy idea, but this poorly executed film is riddled with every cliché in the book and then some. From the moment they meet as kids, John Myron (Simon Baker) is completely encha… (more)