Who’s Yer Father, a film set and shot entirely in Prince Edward Island, is a great time at the theatre. Still, it’s even better as a Canadian event since homegrown representation still happens too rarely on the big screen. Director/writer Jeremy Larter should celebrate this accomplishment alone, but even more so since Who’s Yer Father is a hilariously good time with a surprising amount of heart.
Being the only private investigator on a small island, dimwitted Larry Constable (Chris Locke) has never gotten a high-stake case until wealthy seafood buyer Luke Thorn (Matt Wells) hires him to investigate a string of black-market lobster sales in the Sandbar Cove community.
Not long into his investigation, Larry meets and takes to a scrappy convenience store owner, Rhonda Perry (Susan Kent), who is looking to save up enough cash to buy a soft serve machine that will boost her sales. As a result, the two form an unlikely friendship, which takes a romantic turn.
For those unfamiliar with the phrase, “Who’s yer father?” is a standard greeting that Islanders will ask one another around the densely populated rock. The question also has an in-universe meaning as “Who’s Yer Father” is the name of Larry’s business.
Viewers may find that a few gags overstay their welcome, but Larter takes his time and builds the set-up for jokes early on, which allows for fantastic comedic payoff. The film’s events also escalate in a way that feels believable amongst the absurdity. Rhonda, in particular, is responsible for getting Larry into the many absurd situations they find themselves. Sometimes, Who’s Yer Father does get bogged down by its plot instead of developing Larry and Rhonda’s relationship, as that’s the movie’s heart.
In another actor’s hands, Rhonda could have become very grating, very quickly. But in Kent’s hands, Rhonda is a film standout. Kent injects the character with so much humility and earnestness, which allows Rhonda to stay grounded even as she does some preposterous things. Kent’s hilarious reaction shots are worth the price of admission alone.
While this movie will be fun to watch at home when it hits Paramount+ in 2024, there is something extraordinary about watching a movie that’s so proudly Canadian in a crowded theatre on the big screen.
What separates Who’s Yer Father from other Canadian cinema is that Larter crafted an ’80s-style comedy that will also appeal to those outside of Canada. It may be narratively scattered at times, but it never stops being entertaining. At the end of the day, isn’t that why people go to the movies?
Who’s Yer Father is now playing in select Cineplex Cinemas across Canada and will be on Paramount+ in early 2024.