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cottage-countryCOTTAGE COUNTRY
Written by Peter Wellington
Directed by Jeremy Boxen
Starring Tyler Labine, Malin Akerman, Lucy Punch and Daniel Petronijevic.

Cammie: Be a good boyfriend and go get the axe.

Peter Wellington’s new film, COTTAGE COUNTRY, attempts to be a fun, dark comedy. It is often dark; it is sometimes funny; but sadly, it is never dark and funny at the same time.

The film follows couple, Todd and Cammie (Tyler Labine and Malin Akerman), or as they obnoxiously refer to themselves, “toodles” and “cuddlebones”. While packing for their weekend alone at the family cottage, Cammie finds the engagement ring she has been expecting for months in Todd’s bag. The couple arrive at the cottage, and besides a weird encounter with a man in the road, things seem to be going perfectly; that is until the middle of the night when the two are awoken by strange noises. Upon investigating the sounds further, Cammie and Todd find Todd’s brother, Salinger (Daniel Petronijevic), arriving at the apartment with his notoriously unstable girlfriend, Masha (Lucy Punch), even though the cottage had been booked by Cammie and Todd on the family website. Cammie will not let her soon-to-be fiancé’s brother ruin their perfect weekend, and makes Todd promise to get rid of his brother by whatever means possible, murder included.


Wellington’s film has its moments but is tarnished by unlikeable characters and a poor script. Jeremy Boxen’s screenplay often feels as if it is a modern, cottage-set retelling of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. Whether or not this was intentional remains unclear. Cammie acts as the Lady Macbeth character, manipulating her boyrfriend into doing what she says, and is even complete with an “out damn spot!” sleepwalking scene. Had this idea been developed a little more, it may have worked, but the idea seems to keep disappearing and coming back throughout the film. Labine is sometimes annoying in his role as Todd, but Punch takes the cake for the most annoying and obnoxious character in this film. Her poor Russian accent isn’t believable for one second, and quickly becomes irritating. Akerman is a great actress, so it’s hard to understand why she took a role in this poorly written film. She seems to be one of the few things keeping the film from completely falling apart.

It is really hard to understand whether this COTTAGE COUNTRY is a comedy or a drama. It clearly wants to be a dark comedy, but none of the funny scenes are dark, and none of the dark scenes are funny, at least not intentionally, therefore missing the entire point of this sub-genre altogether. It is not a completely unbearable film but if that’s the best you can say about a film, it isn’t saying much.


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