Playing right now at the Bloor Cinema (aka Hot Docs) is the rather spectacular documentary “Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened”.
Before I get into a few thoughts about the film, I have to point out the lavish existence that the Bloor Cinema has adopted. Fantastically stylish and minimal, the cinema is a perfect spot for one to catch a documentary because there are no fashionable flourishes to distract the viewer from the unfolding events on the big screen.
Back to the film…If you’re not a fan of musicals, don’t see this film. Also, don’t read my blog because I love musicals. The film itself documents the rather meteoric rise of the Sondheim/Prince musical “Merrily We Roll Along” as it prepares for its 1981 broadway review. Then, as tends universally happen in documentaries, the depiction of the show’s rather heart-wrenching demise is what carries the remainder of the story. The now adult cast looks back at their younger selves with all of their hopes and dreams as they began to prepare for their big broadway debut. Not shockingly, they wea the rose-tinged glasses that often accompanies the retrospection of adult memories. But where the film really succeeds is with its clever representation of the young artists’ wish for critical claim and the sheer lack of it when the show actually opens on broadway.
The Best Worst Thing is an important film in many ways. It’s commentary on the delusion that accompanies the quest for fame reminds the viewer of how the only constant in life is change, and that change is constantly fleeting.
Check it out!