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Fetching Cody (2005)

by on 2013/01/28

Fetching Cody (2006)

“The further you go, the less you know.”

* * * *

I didn’t expect this science fiction film – in fact, more dramatic fantasy – to exceed the precedent of CanCon flicks this month. I went into Fetching Cody expecting a homegrown Butterfly Effect

Boy meets girl, boy changes history, boy loses girl, then spends the rest of the story trying to fix perceived imperfections.

I also didn’t expect to travel into the past myself. Time after time, its references triggered old memories, of Carrie, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Red Balloon. They took me back to high school, junior high, and elementary, encapsulating a sense of estrangement, frustration and, ultimately, hope.

Set in a grittier part of Vancouver than I’ve ever seen captured onscreen, in an era which could have been as early as the Seventies (belied only by its music), the tale begins in following two junkies, Art (Jay Baruchel of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) and Cody Wesson (Sarah Lind of Edgemont).

When Art finds Cody has overdosed, he struggles to cope with her absence, and finds his feelings were stronger than he realized. His streetwise mentor, Harvey (Jim Byrnes of Sanctuary), offers him the use of a time machine, notably cast in the form of a La-Z-Boy recliner.

Art’s nonlinear journey takes him through several occasionally overlapping – but seemingly never recursive or cumulative – missions. Whatever he tries either has no effect, or it does so without changing Cody’s fate. Harvey advises against too many changes, suggesting an imperfect life is still better than a well-meant catastrophe.

So Art gives up and leaves well enough alone. The end.

Yeah, right.

Initially everything seemed to do its utmost to annoy and ostracize me. Its environment, characters, and performances were steeped in quirk. Through sheer force of commitment, however, the actors won me over, to the point where their care became chief among my concerns.

That gradual investment paid off in time, as Art’s futile struggle against a tide of inevitability frustrated me, but in the best of ways. I longed for merciful fates because I empathized with the players. I wanted to know it was possible for their issues to be resolved: addiction, bullying and, er, massive organ failure.

And, by the end, I enjoyed the periphery more than I’d disliked it at first. The drag queen, foil-helmeted ex-boyfriend, and kind hospital attendant . . . the coarse Santa, strings of lights, and Christmas Muzak . . . Breakfast Club-isms, handgun antics, and the fantastically hilarious track pants from the future. No, seriously.

Fetching Cody’s definitely not the usual sci-fi piece. It subverted all my expectations, then exceeded all new ones. By displacing cool technology with romantic impulses, it delivers lessons in tragedy, acceptance, and serendipity, as opposed to paradoxes, quantum mechanics, and wormholes.

Which I guess could work, if you identify as human.

* * * *

Official Trailer:

Rated 14A

87 minutes

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