Writer/director David Ray melds fantasy, drama, dark comedy and romance in this imaginative and compelling indie film about a young couple caught up in the street life in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia. Fetching Cody (2005) is one of those films that surprises you with its inventiveness and creativity. It starts out as a straight-forward drama, but, then, blindsides you with the fantasy element of time travel. At first, the time-travel aspect seems like a bad idea that could possibly derail the film; but, surprisingly, it ends up working really well and helps underscore the dramatic scenes. This was Ray's directorial debut, and he also penned the screenplay.
The film centers on a small-time drug dealer named Art (Jay Baruchel ), who lives in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Art's girlfriend, Cody (Sarah Lind), is a sweet, down-to-earth girl. She is also a drug addict and hooker. One night Art finds Cody lying unconscious in her apartment from a possible heroin overdose. She's placed in the intensive care unit at the local hospital where she lies in a coma, and the chances of her coming out of it don't look too promising.
Enter Art's eccentric junk-collecting friend Harvey (Jim Byrnes), who claims that a beat-up old recliner he found in a dumpster also functions as a time machine. It turns out that it actually works as a time-traveling device, and Art uses it to travel back in time in an attempt to change Cody's past, so she won't end up where she is now.
Baruchel impresses in his portrayal of Art. He imbues the role with pathos and awkward charm. He handles both the dramatic and comedic scenes quite well and proves that he can ably carry a film. And Lind delivers a quality performance as Cody.
The film also has a strong supporting cast. Some of the standouts among the supporting cast include Lucas Blaney as Cody's troubled older brother Holden; Angela Moore as the kindly Nurse Sam; and Jim Byrnes as Art's odd but wise friend Harvey.
Fetching Cody is quite a unique and inventive film. You rarely find films that mix time travel and comedy with serious themes of prostitution, teen suicide and drug abuse, but Ray somehow manages to make all these elements mesh. There are several genuinely touching dramatic moments as well as very funny ones. And Ray utilizes time travel in a very creative and interesting fashion, yielding some of the film's funniest moments. The film won the Director's Choice Award at the Sedona Film Festival in 2006, as well as the Gold Award at WorldFest Houston that same year.
(originally published at Suite101.com)
Fetching Cody at Amazon