Sunday, 31 May 2020, 4:00 pm - Cancelled
Rainbow Theatre, Northumberland Mall, Cobourg
Kyle and Mike are best friends who share a close bond -- until Mike sleeps with Kyle's fiancée. The Climb is about a tumultuous but enduring relationship between two men across many years of laughter, heartbreak and rage. It is also the story of real-life best friends who turn their profound connection into a rich, humane and frequently uproarious film about the boundaries (or lack thereof) in all close friendships.
Cast: Kyle Marvin, Michael Angelo Covino, Gayle Rankin, Talia Balsam, George Wendt, Judith Godrèche, Daniella Covino, Eden Malyn, Jason Baxter.
Directed By: Michael Angelo Covino
Written By: Michael Angelo Covino, Kyle Marvin
Rating: R (for language, sexual content, some nudity and brief drug use)
Runtime: 94 minutes Language: English
A startling confession on a bike ride across the South of France becomes the hub for an episodic journey through the lives of two men, in Michael Angelo Covino's clever and honest comedy about a destructive, co-dependent, and inescapable friendship.
The set-up is simple: lifelong friends Mike and Kyle are out for a bike ride through the mountains in the South of France when Mike confesses that he slept with Kyle's fiancé. In the hands of director Michael Angelo Covino (who also co-wrote and co-stars in the film), this confessional episode expands into an epic multi-year journey that navigates the ins and outs of a co-dependent friendship. Traversing through family holidays, birthdays, ski trips, and, of course, bike rides, The Climb takes what could be a knucklehead display of toxic masculinity and — through an intelligent, surprising, and self-aware use of slapstick and whip-smart dialogue — steers it through the lives of two people who can't seem to tear themselves apart from each other — and the destructive behaviour they resort to in the process.
Eschewing many standard techniques of cinematic comedy, Covino relies on a series of beautifully choreographed single takes, one for each scene, allowing many of the most hilarious moments to come from the least expected places in the frame. This aesthetic, coupled with a clever structure (to reveal any more plot would ruin the layers of surprise), provide a breezy runway upon which Covino and his co-star Kyle Marvin foster a palpable, relatable honesty through their remarkable chemistry. With each comedic escalation, The Climb not only makes us cackle at the absurdity of its scenarios, but also ponder complex questions about the nature of male friendships.
By Daniel Reynolds
If you’ve been in a long friendship that defies explanation (and you’re a man), it’s hard not to grin, if not outright guffaw, at The Climb. The film follows one such pairing, fellow dummies played by director Michael Angelo Covino and co-writer Kyle Marvin, as they tumble through life together. Their film’s title suggests a progression, and indeed it does escalate, but that’s only half true—which, of course, is part of the joke.
Split into seven chapters, the lives of Mike (Covino) and Kyle (Marvin) take them through adventures in cycling, family functions, a bachelor party, and more. Part of the fun of The Climb is figuring out where the men are at the start of each section, what’s happened to them in the intervening years, and where they could possibly go next. (The answers are often surprising.) Shot in mostly long unbroken takes—sometimes marvelously so—and with musical interludes, the film enjoys a specific tension and release throughout. (The opening chapter, inspired by their short, works as a brilliant proof of concept.) Covino didn’t have to make it this way, but the technical choice makes for something unique. On-screen, he’s solid as the rabble-rouser of the pair, while Marvin, with his dopey John C. Reilly-esque energy, really gets the film rolling.
On the downslope though, The Climb is a tad one-note, going over the same jokes for most of its runtime. While Mike and Kyle are put through a lot, they never quite reach any sort of personal epiphanies. Fortunately, we are not them and can just enjoy the ride for what it is.