Post-TIFF, the major movie buzz in TO is about Toronah, a improvisational comedy set in Toronto.
A rough cut has been circulating in the downtown film world. It’s appeared out of nowhere.
Not just the cast, but the director and producer are all unknowns.
I have been told by inside sources that, from pre production to post-, Toronah was made in a mere three months. That’s unheard of in the Canadian or American film industry.
Rumours abound about its origins.
One source told me the film is the brainchild of three recent film school grads nicknamed “The Three Amigos.”
In the guerrilla filmmaking tradition, they shoot film first and ask for permission later.
Toronah is about funny, tragi-comic losers.
There is Mickey, a middle-aged dude from Chicago, financially down on his luck, in constant fights with his angry and disappointed wife. Basically, he’s a pathetic schmuck, an everyman.
Also, Mickey may or may not be in very deep doo doo with the mob, over some unpaid debts.
(Rumour has it that Toronah features cameos by real Toronto “wise guys”, playing themselves.)
Mickey is forced to come to Toronto to get some much needed cash from his wealthier cousin, Ricky.
There is Johnny K, a portly Asian fellow who’s awkward and a little clueless – who suddenly comes into possession of a black bag containing $100,000.
And the keys to a cool Yorkville condo. And one sweet set of wheels.
Toronah plays homage to Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, with Johnny K mistaken for the much wealthier Ricky, who is flying to Chicago to save Mickey — just as Mickey is flying to Toronto.
Johnny K, in a hilariously deadpan manner, has a series of sexual flings with drop dead gorgeous women/escorts/sidewalk hostesses/wannabe actresses, who all absurdly mistake him for Mickey.
There are other crazy characters who all cracked me up:
Boss Hogg — a profanity-spewing mountain of a man, all dressed in white — stole every scene.
Then there’s Billy: Respectable leasing agent by day, bisexual male whore by night.
Plus there’s a whole slew of salacious, man-eating women who may or may not be the long lost daughters of Mickey’s many previous liaisons.
But the straightest, most conservative, most compelling, most natural and clearly the most sober character in this whole film is the former Mayor Rob Ford, who appears briefly in the opening scene. This guy has natural stage presence. The camera loves Rob. And he nails his lines.
This film is crude, rude, lewd and many female characters are nude.
But what a fun-filled ride in a souped up Trans-Am it is!
Toronah: It’s my kind of film! (Bro.)