When Night is Falling

November 21, 2005 - The plot of this 1995 Canadian film goes something like this: Preacher's daughter falls in love with lesbian, runs away to join the circus. That's pretty much it with some funky acrobatics thrown in for good measure.

I missed the first few minutes of the movie, but it wasn't hard to pick up the plot. Rachael Crawford, who was in the TV show E.N.G. a few years earlier, plays Petra, a member of what appears to be the Canadian version of Cirque du Soleil. She goes to a laundromat where she meets Camille, the preacher's kid, who teaches mythology at a Christian college. They each take home the other's laundry. Oops! But, when Preacher's Kid goes to the circus to return the clothes, Petra admits that the mixup was no accident.

PK now has a problem. She's attracted to Petra, but she's been dating this guy from the college for three years, plus she's up for a promotion. Scratch that when the committee asks her about her views on homosexuality and she basically says it's not a mortal sin.

Like the trapeze in the circus, PK goes back and forth between being hot for Petra and giving her the cold shoulder so she can keep her job.

It all comes to a head when Petra tells PK that the circus is leaving town, headed for some prestigious festival in San Francisco. PK, whose dog has just died, responds by burying the dog in the frozen woods, drinking enough cherry brandy to pass out, and coming down with a bad case of hypothermia. Fortunately, she's found by (I think) some people from the circus. They call Petra, who lays on top of PK and keeps her warm until the ambulance gets there.

Next thing we know, Petra and PK are happy and headed for San Francisco, PK's ex is drinking coffee and looking stunned, and the former business manager of the circus is standing there looking at him. At one point in the movie, Petra suggested PK join the circus and PK said "What would I do?" I guess the answer is be the business manager???

Overall review: ** Interesting and not too preachy. But, I think the director couldn't decide whether to play this one straight, so to speak, or make an art film. She erred on the side of the art film, and I think that was a mistake. Having said that, the visual imagery is kind of cool.