Sometimes, in order to find yourself, you need to get lost along the way.
Set in Prince Edward Island, Who’s Yer Father? follows Larry Constable (Chris Locke), a down-on-his-luck private eye who’s investigating some suspicious black market lobster sales. During his research, he encounters Rhonda (Susan Kent), a convenience store owner who finds a way to make this venture even more worth their while. Rhonda believes that the best course of action is to blackmail the subject of their investigation so they can increase their profit. While Larry isn’t sure about her plan, he goes along with it… until the duo find themselves in too deep to dig their way out of it.
Directed by Jeremy Larter, Who’s Yer Father? is an outlandish throwback comedy with a dry sense of humor. There’s a silliness about this film that ends up charming the viewer, especially with strong performances from its two leads. Locke plays his private eye with such deadpan aloofness that his performance harkens back to 1980s Bill Murray films. Much like those Murray classics, Larry is completely unaware of himself. Rather than focus on the fight for truth, he feels as though he’s floating through life with a childlike naivety. Held up against Kent’s fiery Rhonda, the pairing end up with an entertaining chemistry between the two of them that makes the film endearing.
Admittedly, with its more laidback style, Father takes some time to lean into its vibe. While goofy in nature, this isn’t a film that throws itself on the back of brash and rapid-fire humour. Instead, it likes to sit with its comedy and laugh at the awkwardness of the moment. Leaning into the foolishness off its fools, Larter allows his characters to unfold the story (and their comedy) at their own pacing.
Beneath the goofiness, Father is also a film about people trying to make sense of their lives and their place within it. Staring at the stars, the two of them are amazed at the size of the universe, but wonder if they matter amidst the vast expanse. Both are looking for some sort of grounding in order to bring their life into focus.
But neither is clear what that could be.
Stuck within the confines of her job, Rhonda’s life seems somewhat mundane. Hers is a world that consists of little more than going to work in a convenience store in the middle of nowhere and going home. However, with the promise of a soft serve machine on the horizon, there’s a break in the clouds. Suddenly, she believes that she may have found her ticket to fortune and financial stability.
At the same time, Larry is a man who seems remarkably adrift for a man who wants to bring people bring the truth to people. Although not ‘immoral’ by any stretch, he lacks a guiding moral compass that keeps him on the straight and narrow. But when Rhona walks into his world, she becomes the goal. For Larry, bettering his love life feels like that answer that he’s been searching for.
Even so, as Rhonda and Larry begin to work together, the pieces of their lives begin to fall into place. Together, they begin to find something to hold onto, even if it means bending some rules in order to do so.
In the end, there will be some that aren’t in tune with Who’s Yer Fathers? more relaxed style of humor. But, once you lean into the vibe, Father? manages to steal your heart along the way.
Who’s Yer Father? is available in theatres now.