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Directors: Kate Johnston and Shauna MacDonald
Cast: Shauna MacDonald, Kate Trotter, Christine Horne
Country: Canada
Year: 2013
Runtime: 87 min
Rating: R

While many films depict the development of romantic relationships between two friends, Tru Love, from Canadian writing and directing duo Kate Johnston and Shauna MacDonald, is the first I have seen to imagine what would happen when one falls for their friend’s mother. This sensitive and gentle film depicts the nuances of relationships – romantic, friendly, and familial – in a poignant manner.

Tru (Shauna MacDonald) and Suzanne (Christine Horne) have long been friends, but this friendship is put to the test when Tru finds herself unexpectedly falling for Suzanne’s older mother Alice (Kate Trotter). Although protagonist Tru is an admitted womanizer, she remains sympathetic and likeable due to her fun nature and a hidden complexity that is gradually revealed. MacDonald and Trotter both provide emotional performances that never become over-the-top, and a relaxed chemistry is ever-present. My favourite scenes are those where Trotter is shown talking to her late husband, who also appears on the screen as if he were actually alive until the camera reveals Alice to be alone. Such beautiful moments reveal the complicated relationship the two had, and the struggles that Alice has had to face throughout her life.

Tru Love boasts a lovely soundtrack that is reminiscent of French film and reflects its characters’ shared love of the culture, as well as familiar Toronto scenery that appears lovely in winter as opposed to harsh. This emotional film about life and love in different forms is simple but unfailingly well meaning, and highly enjoyable like so many current great Canadian works.

Rating: 8 / 10

Screening Time: Saturday May 24, 7:30pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 1