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Love That Boy is a 2003 Canadian film and romantic comedy directed by Andrea Dorfman and starring Nadia Litz and Adrien Dixon. It is about a woman in love with a younger teenage boy. In French the film is called J'aime ce garçon.

Plot

Robin (Nikki Barnett) encourages her roommate Phoebe (Litz), an ambitious 21-year-old university student, to find a boyfriend. Phoebe does not manage to find a love interest among her fellow-university students, but instead takes interest in a 14-year-old boy named Frazer (Dixon).

Production

Love That Boy was filmed in Halifax, Nova Scotiamarker. One critic speculated the budget was low, but that that was used as an advantage, saying a "slightly cheesy look and sound of everything in Phoebe's life... justifies good old Canuck cheapness as a point of comedy."

Director Andrea Dorfman told the press that in her work, she tried to adapt reality with character-based style, and would "look at things from a different perspective." Dorfman co-wrote the screenplay, placing the character Phoebe in university because Dorfman saw herself as overconfident of her knowledge when she went to college. The point would then be to demonstrate that studying is not complete knowledge. Dorfman also claims that the low budget was because larger companies would want to change the story so that Frazer and Phoebe become lovers, while the actual points of the film were reaching maturity and friendship.

Casting

Dorfman had previously made a film entitled Parsley Days. That film had impressed Litz, and Litz felt that anything else by Dorfman would be good. Thus, when Litz was informed by her agent that she could audition by videotape for a film by Dorfman, Litz opted instead to fly from Los Angeles, Californiamarker to audition in person. Dorfman also found Dixon to be "an old soul."

Release

The film was first run at the Atlantic Film Festival on September 19, 2003. The film was re-released on November 7 of that year. On January 24, 2004, it played in Oxford Cinema in Halifax, which the press claimed marked the first time the film would be screened where it had been shot.

Reception

Despite the similarity in the subject matter, one critic asserted that Love That Boy is not a "male version of Lolita," but rather just a statement of how love can be perplexing. This critic complimented Litz and Dixon's acting, and called Love That Boy "a little gem of a film." Katherine Monk of The Ottawa Citizen also addressed the subject matter, saying that the film is "a little bizarre- not to mention disconcerting... the film rides the edge of ickiness." However, Monk credited Dorfman and Litz with "charm" and "style" that eased these factors. Litz herself acknowledged that sex between the main characters "would be gross."

Monk also said that Litz "makes us believe in the near-cartoonish Phoebe by giving her moments of vulnerability and compassion." For this film, the Vancouver Film Critics Circle nominated Litz as Best Actress of the year in Canadian cinema, but she lost to Sarah Polley in My Life Without Me.

However, another critic wrote that "The whole thing is charming to look at, wise and funny- but, alas, slim. Slight." Columnist David Spaner disapproved of Dixon's acting, although he felt Litz and Barnett were good, and found the writing poor in places. He doubted the film's wisdom because he felt lines like "I am too much and not enough at the same time" had been done before and were incomprehensible.

References

External links




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