We had the $18million Maple Syrup theft!
Director: Robert Cohen
Cast: Robert Cohen, Cobie Smulders, Mike Myers, Seth Rogen, Mike Myers, William Shatner and Martin Short
“Being Canadian” has been on my to-watch list for quite some time. Around five or six years ago I was making serious plans to move to Canada and dove into getting to know the country, the Canadian people and various other things. Not to forget that my favourite NHL team is the Calgary Flames. I even received a job offer from Toronto at one point, and was at one point about five days away from actually moving.
There is something about the country of Canada that I love, I can’t quite put my finger on it, maybe it is the aforementioned fandom of the Flames, or how beautiful the country is, or even how wonderfully isolated most places in the country are, but either way, it is a country that I would still be interested living in one day, and therefore I am quite excited about finally getting the chance to watch this.
There is a little uncertainty in it though as this seems to follow a similar(ish) format to another documentary that I watched for this site, the frankly tedious “Do I Sound Gay?”
I hope that it is certainly better than that was, and I am somewhat hopeful as it doesn’t seem to be a vanity project, which is another reason why I’m looking forward to this documentary.
Rob Cohen has been in Hollywood for many years, working on several huge projects (such as “The Big Bang Theory”), but he got really frustrated one day and snapped after being mocked for being Canadian. He decides to go on a trip, starting in Nova Scotia, in which he gets the opinions of numerous celebrities about their views of their home country in an attempt to gain an understanding of what it means to be Canadian. Famous names include Eugene Levy, Dan Ackroyd, Michael J Fox, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Mike Myers and Cobie Smulders, amongst many others.
He soon moves through major Canadian cities, exploring the conflict between the English and French-speaking sections, bizarre Canadian traditions and how they identify themselves by saying that they’re not something (we’re not American). Rob soon closes in on Vancouver just time to Canada Day, can he find the answer he is looking for?
So, better than “Do I Sound Gay?”
I’m not going to lie, it wouldn’t be hard to be better than that given how poor it is. Saying the documentary is better than “Do I Sound Gay?” would be faint praise indeed.
Before I went into this documentary film I made an internal list of stuff I’d want to see from these things, and the majority of those things were fulfilled. The only part that wasn’t was that there didn’t seem to be much of a point, other than him trying to find meaning in his nationality, but the documentary is done in such a way that you don’t really care that the main mission of the documentarian is a bit meaningless to anyone who isn’t Canadian.
Starting off the positives, I think it’s great that you get a perspective on what it is like to be Canadian, ranging from minor issues such as none of the non-Canadians he interviews knowing such simple information, such as what the capital of the country is (it’s Ottawa), right through to people stereotyping them about their hockey obsession, Tim Hortin’s chain of restaurants and that they’re viewed as a diet-America. One of the key points is how everyone assumes from their accent that they’re American, which is fairly similar to the Canadian accent to the untrained ear, and it is engaging to see how they view that situation.
For the first time since I reviewed Blackfish, I feel like I’ve come out of a documentary more motivated than before. That’s how good this is. I really want to go to Canada after watching this and discover more of its history. Some of the aspects that they discussed was fascinating, such as that there was once $18million worth of maple syrup stolen, right through to them forming the equivalent of the NFL, but two of the nine teams bizarrely sharing the same name.
The reason that “Being Canadian” works is that is refreshingly self-mocking, including a specific section of the film in which they mock themselves by everyone apologising for various aspects for their life. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I think that is one of the reasons people around the world have a lot of time for Canadians, especially when they realise that they’re not American, something that Seth Rogen reflects on.
Just watch it.
A quirky and unique look at what it means to be Canadian, “Being Canadian” is an enjoyable watch from start to finish. It pokes fun at itself, whilst also giving lessons about Canada that most outside of their country wouldn’t know, which is quite awesome.
If you’re even slightly into the country of Canada then I would recommend giving it a watch. I thought I’d learnt quite a bit about Canada from planning to move there, but there was virtually nothing mentioned that I knew, making it very worthwhile.
Give it a go, go on.