Saturday, December 5, 2020

I Propose We Never See Each Other Again After Tonight: Movie Review

Funny, romantic and real; occasionally heartbreaking but still optimistic.

I Propose We Never See Each Other Again After Tonight is a stunning achievement for a low-budget Canadian rom-com. Freshman actors pull off this simple story of two strangers meeting and taking a chance on each other to turn this film into a sometimes delightful, sometimes heartbreaking examination of a young relationship.   2020

Directed by: Sean Garrity

Screenplay by: Sean Garrity

Starring: Hera Nalam, Kristian Jordan

Starring Hera Nalam as Iris, a Filipina woman confident enough to put herself out there but very insecure in what she can offer someone, she delivers a remarkable performance in her first credited role. And in his first notable appearance, Kristian Jordan stars as Simon, a very sheltered young man, and offers the perfect counterbalance to Iris.

Left to Right: Kristian Jordan as SIMON, Hera Nalam as IRIS in I PROPOSE WE NEVER SEE EACH OTHER AGAIN AFTER TONIGHT. Photo by Brad Crawford.

After helping a local stranger dig their car out of the snow – a very Canadian thing to do and an appropriate meet cute for two Winnipeggers – Iris asks Simon out for drinks, but then her insecurity takes over and presents him with the title proposal. Let’s just talk, have fun, no pressure. It starts with strong Linklater Before Sunrise vibes and even after a few relationship twists, it still has strong Linklater vibes considering the fantastic performances from the unknown cast and the really engaging relationship story.

The humour is stronger at the beginning. Days after meeting, Simon’s friend Gord pretends he doesn’t know Iris’ name despite Simon not shutting up about her. And Iris’ sister Agnes pretends she doesn’t know Simon’s name despite Iris not shutting up about him. Of course our star-crossed lovers re-meet, this time with Simon making the first move. The first half of the movie is filled with really subtle moments that show how well suited the two are for each other, and how well the two actors know their characters. Also worth mentioning: characters that exist outside of their relationship, which is key in helping the audience connect to them.

The beginning of their romance just fills me with such joy. Iris and Simon are cute, funny and sweet with each other. Very understandably, insecurities get in the way, and they both receive some very bad advice. The last half of the film is just as strong, although definitely veers into the dramatic and outside typical rom-com territory, also making it more real and relatable.

While it’s true that this is a low-budget Canadian film, it has no obvious production issues. It is a nicely polished film with a unique setting for a rom-com – the Winnipeg winter doesn’t exactly scream romance, it doesn’t even whisper romance, but they really made it work to their advantage. I am really impressed with what writer-director Sean Garrity, the entire production crew and the young stars Nalam and Jordan pulled off here. I Propose We Never See Each Other Again After Tonight is funny, romantic, real, relatable, heartbreaking and optimistic.