Re:Uniting

Re:Uniting Review: Canadian Indie’s American Star Stands Out

Re:Uniting, the Canadian indie written and directed by Laura Adkin, gets a serious boost from American actor Jesse L. Martin. Known for his roles in the movie musical RENT and TV’s top police procedural Law & Order, the craft he’s spent years perfecting is the real highlight of this film.

Michael (Jesse L. Martin) and Rachel (Michelle Harrison, Martin’s Canadian co-star from The Flash) are a middle-aged married couple reuniting with their closest friends from college. British Columbia’s Bowen Island provides the stunning setting for the group’s 25th anniversary, a celebration that inevitably takes a tumultuous turn. A steady flow of alcohol and access to other “party favours” leads to the reveal of life-alerting secrets, the aftermath of which is genuinely heartbreaking.

Martin and Harrison have real, natural chemistry, which serves them well throughout the film’s most intimate and emotional moments. Martin’s ability to hold space for Harrison’s character is truly beautiful to watch. There are scenes in which Harrison’s performance goes toe-to-toe with Martin’s, and its just another example of how certain actors can pull out glimpses of greatness from their fellow cast members. Harrison, in turn, does the same for Carmen Moore, who plays Natalie. Watching Rachel and Natalie’s dynamic evolve towards the end of the film was engrossing.

As for that big reveal? The scene unfolds similarly to a Real Housewives blow-up (that’s a compliment) but overall, it leaves something to be desired. While the rest of the ensemble cast have established relationships off-screen (Canadian film & TV, amirite?), unfortunately that connection doesn’t necessarily translate on-screen. Every actor brings interesting elements to their individual characters, but with so much going on, these subtleties tend to get lost or forgotten.

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The throwback soundtrack is a delight, particularly for ’90s fans. Aside from giving the audience a nostalgic hit of serotonin, it also manages to feel authentic to the friend group’s foundation. The use of song to transport these characters back in time during certain moments is another high point of this debut feature from Adkins.

Overall, viewers are treated to some enjoyable snippets; gorgeous landscapes, high-stakes drama, characters working through inner turmoil. But in terms of a cohesive, memorable experience from start to finish? It misses the mark.

Re:Uniting is in limited release now.



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