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BEING CANADIAN (review)

BeingCanadian_posterBEING CANADIAN

Directed by Robert Cohen

Alberta-born director Robert Cohen has lived his adult life in the United States as a writer for such television series as The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory. In BEING CANADIAN, Cohen returns to his homeland where he attempts to cross the country in one week’s time. Through this journey, Cohen seeks to find out what it truly means to be a Canadian. Along the way, the film features interviews with dozens of famous Canadians such as William Shatner, Mike Myers, and the band Rush. The film begins with man-on-the-street style interviews with pedestrians around the world, in which the interviewer asks them what they know about Canada. Cohen obviously sifts out anyone who actually knows a thing about Canada and instead uses the interviews with people who seem to think that Canadians live in igloos and ride polar bears to work.
Being_Canadian_5

This is nothing we haven’t seen before, and unfortunately this is the case throughout the film. Questions  constantly pop up on the screen asking questions about Canada, such as “Why are Canadians so nice?”, “What is Canadian food?”, and “Why do Canadians apologize so often?” Most of these questions are shrugged off with jokes, while others are given quick and uninteresting answers. Unfortunately, Cohen fails to uncover any interesting insight into what it means to be Canadian, and depicts Canada as a rather simple country that boils down to poutine and people who say “eh”. There are some laughs spread throughout, but most of the humor is shallow and unoriginal. If this is what it means to be Canadian, count me out. And I am not going to apologize for this review either.

1.5 sheep

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How many sheep would you give Being Canadian?

One Comment

  1. This film should be called ‘my insecurities’ as it has very very little to do with ‘being Canadian’.
    Rightfully so, it was made entirely from the perspective of Cohen who clearly suffers from an inferiority complex as a Cnd living in U.S. and spent most of movie reiterating stereotypes about Canada.
    As a naturalized Cnd (20yrs and counting) married to a Cnd born Canuck, this doc couldn’t be any more opposite of how we and OUR friends feel about Cnd.
    I like the U.S, but your couldn’t pay me to trade my Cnd passport for an American one.
    Western Cnd has some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth and Toronto (admittedly the largest city in Cnd) was just named the city with the highest standard if living in the world by the economist!
    Sadly, sparsely any of this is portrayed in the doc as Cohen instead chose to travel cross county in a van showcasing a maple syrup factory and hat store with a backdrop of grim landscapes and barely there beaches.

    Also, ‘sorry’, but I know a lot of Cnds who are a-holes and far from the apologetic timid half wits Cnds are portrayed as in the film.

    My only conclusion is that living as a Cnd in the US has somehow made Cohen and he’s celebrity friends a shy version of themselves, to which I say quit whining for validation, spend more time in Cnd and reeducate yourselves through the eyes of Cnds living in Cnd.

    Besides a lot of American know nothing about the rest of the world as a whole: I certainly wouldn’t make that personal.

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