August 24, 2015

Guidance (2014)

Guidance (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Pat Mills
Country: Canada

Movie Review: This newly discovered offbeat comedy about a psychologically disturbed former actor, who decides to help problematic teenagers at Grusin High, is the first full-length feature from Canadian Pat Mills, who also stars as the main character. He confidently plays his alter ego, David Gold, who was a promising TV star in his childhood, but completely forgotten in his adulthood. He doesn’t have an acting role for so long that he decides to apply for a school guidance counselor job under the stolen identity of Dr. Roland Brown, whom he studied thoroughly. Moreover, the sudden, direct, insolent, and occasionally furious David, who was also diagnosed with skin cancer, has serious problems with alcohol, exhibits immoral behaviors, and still lives in a stubborn denial about his gay sexuality, even with the insistence on peeing sitting down. Besides all this, he’s completely broke and on the verge of being evicted by the ‘mean’ landlady who gives him 13 days to pay the rent. The few relatives whom he still maintains contact think he’s an embarrassment, and David spends his lonely days in a depressive mood that he fights by repeating to himself: ‘I have a high self-esteem’, ‘I’m well-adjusted’, or ‘I have a healthy body and mind’. For a brief idea of his operation method with the teen students, let me tell you that, first he starts with a few shots of vodka (to break the ice), before giving his personal advice and/or breaking the rules with them. He allows himself to smoke pot with the student who was expelled for selling pot, to bully the bullies, or to encourage the fat to be fatter and the slut to continue being a slut. This way, the new counselor becomes an idol for the teens and a curiosity for the colleagues, especially the gym teacher who stalks him. By the end, in the peak of his madness, he runs away with Gabrielle, a dyslexic and physically abused student who has a crush on him. They steal a car and rob several tanning salons before he becomes aware of the ‘beginning of his real self’. The very personal and sarcastic “Guidance” is cynical in the good sense, and Mr. Mills is officially authorized to return to the screens.

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