Mon Ami (2012) – By Matthew Saliba

Rob Grant’s "Mon Ami" had its World Premiere at the 2012 Fantasia International Film Festival here in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and for reasons beyond me, I missed it. I really wish I hadn’t as I can only imagine how my appreciation for this film would have increased tenfold had I seen it with the infamous Fantasia audience who can make or break a film by the end of a film’s cold opener. In this case, I assume they were rolling over in tears if not vainly trying to contain themselves from laughing so hard.

"Mon Ami" is sort of a hybrid of "Clerks," "Office Space" and "The Disappearance of Alice Creed" and while that may seem like a odd combination of films, consider this. You have your two likable leads, Teddy and Callum, who are slacker-types slaving away at a hardware store, wishing they weren’t there and making fun of customers along the way. "Clerks" reference, check. Then you have the dynamic of the kooky boss who tortures his employees with parties glorifying the fact that his sons will be taking over the store once he retires. Sons who have no interest in the establishment unlike Teddy and Callum who’d probably welcome such a profound change in their life. "Office Space" reference, check. And then you have the crux of the story, Teddy and Callum, in an act of revenge of sorts, decide to kidnap their boss’ daughter and hold her up for ransom. The only problem is, they’re a pair of bumbling idiots who enlist the services of an equally eccentric kook and by the end of the festivities, things have turned into a farce far more ludicrous than anything John Cleese could have come up with in "Fawlty Towers."

"Mon Ami" is a very funny film that comes highly recommended. The relationship between Teddy and Callum is really well-developed and their characters are so fleshed out and enjoyable, that you actually want to see them succeed. As I mention, the film’s sense of humor comes from the "Clerks" / "Office Space" realm of comedy but the film does get quite dark at times making for some jarring shifts in tone, but hey, it is a black comedy after all.

Check out the teaser to "Mon Ami" at: http://www.truehypeproductions.com/mon_ami