The Isabel Bader could have quite possibly hovered, if not lifted a little off the ground with the high spirits of the crowd, special guests and some helium filled birthday balloons as opening night finally took flight.
A few extra peddles down from the renovating Bloor, the fifteenth year really graduated to another level at the lush venue. While I loved last year, the Bader really gave the red carpet a space to breath without the line competing for the busy Bloor sidewalk.
The anniversary theme was carried through out the evening with the poster boy Franco Nguyen donning the frilled shirt once again to bring the festival trailer to life with a bouquet of inflatables.
After messages from the committee and supporting sponsors the curtain raised with a surprise, CHOIR!CHOIR!CHOIR! serenading the audience with a hit from 1997 to turn back time to the festival’s origin date as well as another number.
With music being the food of love then the main course for everyone to visually feast on was served by actor and first time director Derek Tsang Kwok Cheung & an absent Jimmy Wan with Lover’s Discourse.
Love is the drug of choice as the opening credits seemed surprisingly scientific to set the scene for the movie posing the question that as much as we know, some mysteries are more than chemical reactions under our skin.
Told in segments that crisscross cleverly I was prepared for a mushy love story but was pleasantly surprised at how all sides of the spectrum from the power of love, whimsical to hurtful were expressed on the screen.
Starting with the story of two old flames meeting up, getting playfully drunk before a lip lock on a pebbled path, the predictability stops there and the intertwining of characters aware or in unrecognized life proximity begins.
Fantasy infatuations in a laundromat by the suds specialist behind the counter make for some amazing hilarity as her daydreams are cultivated by one male customer who she falls for while fluffing and folding for him.
This attachment and getting to know someone at a distance takes a darker shade during a flashback by twelve years when the detective work of a smitten teen is besotted by the mother of a friend. His unwitting malice and stalking comes full circle as the story ties it’s self in a bow connecting the dots, proving not everyone survives once struck by Cupid’s bow.
Can you remember who you had a crush on at fifteen? This is a love letter I had written to me. It wasn’t until recently that Facebook helped me translate it.