Kamloops Film Festival in review: The Space Between

Each year, The Omega reviews the films presented at the Kamloops Film Festival. The festival runs through March 11.

From first-time director Amy Jo Johnson comes a funny, if overly long, dramedy that tackles dark subject matter in a heartwarming and endearing way. Following the character Mitch after he discovers that he is in fact not the father of his recently born daughter, we watch as he tries to track down the man responsible while his wife chases after him. Along the way he will meet a young woman on her own path and they will try and discover what it means to endure pain and deal with it properly.

All around the cast seems to fit together nicely, with Michael cram as Mitch and a standout performance from the young Julia Sarah Stone, who provides much of the emotional heft of the film when other aspects seem to dip into the overly melodramatic. The kitsch feeling is provided in spades with a healthy dose of unexpected dark comedy, yet the script definitely leaves something to be desired. The lesser moments do come from several characters seemingly shoehorned into the plot that most certainly could have been cut out. Johnson’s character of the newly divorced ex-lawyer is one of them, and some jokes never seem to really find their mark.

While the script and overall cinematography have their moments of poor quality, the overall feeling of the film is one of human empathy. Aspects of morbid humour do come across as inspired, as the lesson doesn’t resonate as too heavy handed or insipid. It is a small film that works as a funny, if not too different, comedy never able to fully rise above its contemporaries. But it must be commended for the moments that do shine in its script.