Coltrane plays garrulous con-man-cum-chef Turner. Arriving in an Ontario town, he inveigles his cab driver into sharing a meal. Five minutes of fast food and patter later, the driver - a retiring brewery-operative, hockey-player and all-round nonentity named Renzo (Riley), clearly a soupçon less than the full salami himself - finds Turner has invited himself back to his flat, where he takes over the spare room, prepares a lavish Italian meal, and proceeds to elaborate his grandiose scheme to open a restaurant with a grand opera theme. Before you can shout Puccini, shy Renzo - throw off those inhibitions! - is donning prima donna outfit and warbling with the best of them down at the packed-out Ristorante Bel Canto. Canadian director Simoneau plays out this liberationist tosh with ne'er a qualm of self-consciousness. His uneasy mix of Capra-esque whimsy, camp sensibility and oddball romance is so absolutely ingenuous that words fail. The lead performances, both curiously winning, hold the film together, after a fashion.
Cast and crew
Eugene Lipinski, Paul Quarrington
Robbie Coltrane Michael Riley Deborah Duchene Eugene Lipinski