Review by Chris Walts
Growing Op is a good Canadian film. I know that these are words often seem like an oxymoron, but, unlike the stereotypical Canadian film set in the Prairies in the middle of winter, Growing Op is set in the suburbs, and it has a good Canadian twist on the high school coming of age story: the parents run an extensive grow-op. While this concept is nothing new to Douglas Coupland fans (he used it in "Everything's Gone Green" and "Jpod"), director Michael Melski puts his own unique spin on the twist by presenting the pot-growers (Rosanna Arquette and Wallace Langham) as overbearing parents who vehemently conform to a strict set of rules - the rules just happen to be their own. Unfortunately for the son Quinn (wonderfully played by Steven Yaffee), one of these rules means being home schooled, which results in him having no friends and even fewer social skills. All of this changes when a sexy new girl (Rachel Blanchard) moves in next door and asks Quinn to walk her to school. Quinn accepts, and is exposed to a whole new world outside that of his hippie parents - and he loves it.
Growing Op is loaded with laugh out loud jokes, but thankfully most of them aren't based on pot smoking teenagers. The humour in this film comes from the heart of what it is really about - the difficulty and awkwardness of growing up. Underneath all of the smoke and mirrors, Growing Op has a real story that is wonderfully acted and a pleasure to watch. It almost makes you proud to be Canadian.
Michael Melski | Canada | 2008 | 100min
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