Coming to DVD from director Daniel Roby and WolfeVideo.com comes a tale about an era when music, people and relationships were in the middle of FUNKYTOWN.
This film tells the story of Bastien Lavalle (Patrick Haurd), an up and coming host of a television show called Disco Dance Party in Montreal, Canada in 1976. It is the time of disco and the place to be seen is a club called Starlight. Not happy about the new choice of show hosts is Jonathan Aaronson (Paul Doucet).
Also wanting to be in the middle of the music and dance on the show is two young kids Santino (Justin Chatwin) and Tina (Romina D’Ugo). As they all head to the Starlight for party night, once famous Canadian singer Mimi (Genevieve Brouillette) is making one last attempt for a comeback.
Looking for another star to represent is Gilles (Raymond Buchard), part owner of the STARLIGHT but always looking to make a buck. Finally, trying to make her mark in modeling Adriana (Sarah Mutch) who catches Bastien’s eye.
None would know how connected their lives would become when all everyone was out to do was party, dance and live without care!
FINAL WORD: Haurd as Lavalle falls into the game early. Starting out with the dance show on television it doesn’t take his character long to become part of a stereotype of the time. He gives up his family in order to have the nightlife and a separate life with Adriana that starts his downfall with drugs and alcohol.
Doucet as the flamboyant Jonathan fits easily into the disco world. He can be as flamboyant as he likes while still maintaining an undercover life of a gay man. That is until he spots Santino. Chatwin as Santino is caught between several worlds. Trying to run his father’s Italian restaurant and have a nightlife with girlfriend Tina, it is his secret life under The Bridge that is his undoing.
Buchard as Gilles is a bully and only after a way to make his next buck. Already ruining the life of Brouillette’s character Mimi, his next target is Adriana, which brings about a life-altering incident. Mutch as Adriana wants to live the good life and be taken care of. First with Bastien and falling for Gilles idea of a good life, she also must decide what life she is willing to actually live with.
The survivor here is actually Brouillette as Mimi. I was truly thrilled that her character has the instinct to keep moving forward as her life comes full circle.
Other cast includes: Lina Roessler as Sabrina, Vince Benvenuto as Jason, Dominic Longo as Carlo, Camille Pennell as Cynthia Lavallee, Janine Theriault as Connie Lavallee, Jocelyne Zucco as Nicole, Sophie Cadieux as Helene, and Francois Letourneau as Daniel.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give FUNKYTOWN three tubs of popcorn out of five. This is a very long movie at 132 minutes but with the depth the filmmaker goes into their lives it would be difficult to cut anything. It is harsh, gritty and a sense of reality to it in a time in which so many people claimed to be ‘open and hip’ but in fact were far from it.
There are some problems with the film in that the music and the years the film represents don’t exactly coincide but that’s nitpicking. The music adds to the film just as much as the polyester suits, wide collars, spangled dresses, big wavy bangs as well as the sad parts of the era in cocaine and the first signs of AIDS in the world.
It is a film about changes in our time and with those changes the excess and destruction of lives wrapped up in music that is still beloved today.
In the end – it was a time when disco was king!