Canadian director Sean Garrity returns to the screen with his latest film I Propose We Never See Each Other Again After Tonight.
A romantic comedy set in the depths of a Winnipeg winter, the film follows the story of a Mennonite boy and a Filipina girl falling in love, and ends at a wedding social.
Billed as “a romantic comedy about love, and loss, and winter and banana sauce,” the movie’s synopsis humorously reads “Girl meets boy. Girl loses boy. Girl tries out some other boys. Girl gets original boy back, but now she has a secret. Girl loses boy again. Boys suck, girl gets drunk at a party.”
The pair of post-millennial messes meet when pushing a car out of a snow drift.
Their sordid exchange begins with their faces covered by scarves and ski masks.
The lead girl — Iris — is played by Hera Nalam, who is active in Winnipeg’s local theatre community in various Shakespeare productions and the Manitoba Theatre for Young People.
Joining Nalam is University of Winnipeg alumnus Kristian Jordan — a veteran at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Manitoba Theatre for Young People and Winnipeg Jewish Theatre — as Simon.
Known best for the award-winning sex-comedy My Awkward Sexual Adventure — which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival — Garrity has made heartwarming and heart-wrenching dramas and romances that have been released internationally, have been translated into multiple languages and have received numerous awards.
However, after making films in Toronto, Ont., for several years, Garrity — originally from Winnipeg — decided our city was the place to be.
“I came back to Winnipeg out of a sense of feeling that this would be a place from which I could tell authentic stories,” he said.
“Any story that I might tell based out of, I don’t know, Toronto, or South America, or anywhere else, would be kind of a story from the outsider’s perspective.”
“When I moved home again I wanted to make a really Winnipeg movie.”
When Hera Nalam was cast as the lead, Garrity was faced with both the privilege and responsibility of having a Filipina protagonist.
“If I’m going to tell a story and it’s going to be her story, maybe I need to get a little more educated,” he said.
“So I started meeting with a lot of Filipino friends of mine, and […] people in the arts community and the larger Filipino community, and just floating story ideas past them, and floating scenes past them and collecting stories that they had of their own from growing up in a Filipino family and then moving in with a white guy.”
With scenes involving Nalam’s character and her family, Garrity took an even lighter touch, allowing their own experience to dictate the scenes, instructing Nalam to take the reins.
“I don’t really think I’m the guy to tell […] Filipinos how a Filipino family interaction would go,” he said.
To see how well Garrity accomplished this will be determined by the reviews, but as far as the trailer goes, it looks as though the film will be a delight.
“I want audiences to laugh, and I want them to be engaged and I want them to walk away having been told a good story,” he said.
“I want them to walk away feeling like they really know my characters.”
I Propose We Never See Each Other Again After Tonight’s Winnipeg premiere has been postponed due to movie theatre closures. This article will be updated when the new premiere date becomes known.