With, say, a Fox Searchlight or some other mini-major behind it, director Paul Fox's charming adaptation of Doug "Generation X" Coupland's sole screenplay might have been a contender, but as it stands, this winsome tale of a Vancouver slacker stumbling into success, love, and something approaching maturity will likely slip away. It shouldn't, least of all because Paulo Costanzo (from Joey and a few studio releases in which he's always the Best Friend) emerges as a most amiable leading man. Costanzo's Ryan is the Coupland archetype: aware but not engaged, older but not grown-up, thoughtful but not quite there. He loses his girl and his gig, only to wind up writing about lottery winners for a supermarket magazine until he meets another girl (Steph Song) and her con-artist boyfriend (J.R. Bourne), with whom Ryan ends up in business. Of course, he's forced to choose between the two, but it's not the big picture that charms here, it's the details. It's also funny to see a movie shot in Vancouver in which Hollywood's frequent redressing of Vancouver is a small plot point. More than anything, though, Costanzo is kind of irresistible—a spindly Everydork who grows up not because he has to but because he just kinda wants to.
Surprise" Douglas "Gen X" Coupland writes a charming screenplay.
Runs at Varsity, Fri., May 4–Thurs., May 10. Rated R. 95 minutes.