Review: Who You Know
An indie gem that will keep dazzling you long after you’ve finished watching it.
Who You Know disassembles the rom-com and puts it back together in a way that is thoughtful, masterfully meta, and at times heartbreaking. The story follows Cole, a young ambitious screenwriter, who meets the daughter of his screenwriting idol and tries to write himself into a relationship with her to get a step closer to her dad – and his lifelong dream of success. It’s a set-up from a cliché rom-com that is thrown into a reality more complicated and cynical than the usual boy-meets-girl romance, and Who You Know is all the more meaty for it.
A now award-winning screenplay is at the heart of the film – leading characters that are three-dimensional and fatally flawed along a twisty, unexpected path that progresses with their quick-witted dialogue and deep-rooted struggles. The screenplay’s excellence is brought to life beautifully with the assistance of a spell-binding score and a wistful soundtrack of gentle indie tracks. There are also some iconic classics included in the soundtrack – House of the Rising Sun and The Circle Game both get haunting acoustic covers that play a crucial role in the storytelling.
The icing on the cake of Who You Know is some unforgettable performances from a strong Canadian cast – led by Dylan Everett (Degrassi, Pure, Supernatural) and Niamh Wilson (Saw Franchise, Giant Little Ones) who has already received an award nomination for her performance. Alongside them, David Hewlett (Stargate: Atlantis, The Shape of Water) and Stephen Joffe (Alias Grace) both offer some of the film’s biggest laughs and grittiest moments.
To come full circle (circle game pun intended), Who You Know is an indie film done an injustice by the term ‘rom-com’. It’s a film destined for big things, that will no-doubt prove rewarding for anyone who gives this Canadian indie film a chance. Those who have already given it a chance have landed it in the top grossing Canadian films this week. Those yet to watch it can catch it on Crave this spring or at special screenings in the coming months.