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You can sense the good idea that led to Canadian Strain . With our government turning a page and making cannabis legal as of late 2018, why not a comedy about a pot dealer forced to pivot when her illegal business dries up?
The trouble with this well-meaning feature from writer/director Geordie Sabbagh is that it’s not overly funny. And what humour there is hinges on an alternate-reality version of Canada where Shopper’s Drug Mart sells weed. “I have a points card!” says one user, explaining her decision to change suppliers.
But give it up for the cast, headed up by Jess Salgueiro an Anne Banting – what a Canadian name! When her only source of income disappears, she finds herself drawn into a club scene where much harder drugs are on the menu. And she gets a job at the newly formed CDCBO, or Cannabis Distribution and Control Board of Ontario.
Not a bad trip; more of a weak joint
Her supervisor, played by Naomi Snieckus, nails the goofy tone of a government bureaucracy lifer, while Colin Mochrie nicely underplays the role of Anne’s father.
And to be fair to Sabbagh, he apparently made this feature on nine days and a shoestring, and that doesn’t show at all – the results look sharp and professional. (The last thing you want is for your marijuana comedy to look like it was made by stoners.) But the story is too thin even for the film’s 78-minute runtime. Not a bad trip; more of a weak joint.
Canadian Strain is available now on iTunes.
2 stars out of 5
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