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Review: The Steps

Clearly filmed in and around Toronto, (at least for the opening couple of scenes), The Steps is a cute and charming comedy. The film initially concerns Jason Ritter and Emmanuelle Chriqui as a brother and sister pairing from New York City. Ritter is Jeff, a financier who is obviously having difficulties in his work, at least judging by the opening scene, and his relationship situation is not much better. Meanwhile, Chriqui’s Marla is first seen in the bed of a man that she barely knows, but whom we recognize as Rainbow Sun Francks.

Anyways, the whole Toronto as New York City is thrown out the window when there is news that their absentee publisher father, Ed (James Brolin) is about to remarry. The new bride is Sherry (Christine Lahti), a bubbly blonde with three children from three different fathers.

Before we can say “blended family”, the whole crew is off to rural Canada, (clearly Parry Sound), for a weekend of getting to know each other. And get to know each other they do.

The Steps is a change in direction for genre-meister Andrew Currie, but has as many moments of tenderness as it does instances of (too) broad comedy.

Much of the Canadian versus American humour tends to fall flat, especially as Chriqui is Canadian and Lahti is American (as opposed to what is presented), but when the film stays on message as a treatise to integrating fractured family units, there is a certain light and sweetness at play, which is surprising.

Every Step counts.

[star v=3]