Society is filled with broken people. Some are due to horrible circumstances beyond their control. Some are the result of their actions, either directly or indirectly. Regardless, broken people continue to live day to day, sometimes just trying to cope with the idea of getting out of bed in the morning. I’ve sure as hell been there.
In Gia Milani’s All the Wrong Things, we’re introduced to a quartet of broken people. At first, they seem to be unconnected, each going about their day in their own way. As the movie progresses, however, we start to see their lives interconnect: a woman struggles from day to day with anxiety while her husband struggles with a potential job promotion – to say nothing of being unable to touch his wife in over a year; a firefighter struggles with a new, disfiguring physical disability; a young mother whose former boyfriend cares little for her or her baby.
What surprised me is that Milani is able to weave each of these four characters around, setting them up like chess pieces, and keeping you engaged throughout the entire film. Near the end, one of the characters disappears after last seeing them at arguably the movie’s most emotional moment. You’re constantly asking yourself, “No, wait. Go back to that person! What happened to them?”
More interesting is that what the film presents as essentially the antagonists are easily relatable as the protagonists. You hate to see them doing what they’re doing, but at the same time, you can’t help but understand or even relate. It’s hard to pick just one of the four cast who stand out more than the others. All four of the cast – including the late Cory Montieth of Glee fame – knock the proverbial ball out of the park. Even at their worst moments – and believe me, there are plenty to choose from – you find yourself fascinated to keep watching, like a car crash. Even the smaller characters are interesting, like the young assistant manager who puts on a nice guy persona but is clearly gunning for his boss’s job and struggles with trying to be the cool, relatable guy while still trying to maintain professionalism with his staff.
In the end, everything comes to a head where you leave the theatre incredibly satisfied. It’s hard to say whether every character walks away happier by the end of the film, but there are clear and present signs of strong character development among all of them. The films hilarious climax shows just how carefully Milani took to make sure everyone and everything was set up in just the right way, giving you a delightfully hysterical finale.
Do I recommend this? Absolutely. Milani and everyone else involved have created a film with four incredibly broken and yet incredibly engaging characters interwoven together in a story that leaves you fascinated by their world.
As of this writing, All the Wrong Reasons is available in select theatres, including here in Fredericton until Thursday, November 22 at the Regent Mall theatre.