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.
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.