A wretchedly undercooked Canuck comedy that mashes together "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Election" to no apparent purpose, "Citizen Duane" can't hold a candle to either -- much less helmer Michael Mabbott's previous pic, "The Life and Times of Guy Terrifico" -- and will be deported very soon to desperate cablers and dusty vidshelves.

A wretchedly undercooked Canuck comedy that mashes together Matthew Broderick starrers “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Election” to no apparent purpose, “Citizen Duane” can’t hold a candle to either — much less helmer Michael Mabbott’s previous pic, the witty, cameo-filled C&W music mockumentary “The Life and Times of Guy Terrifico” — and will be deported very soon to desperate cablers and dusty vidshelves.

In the bucolic town of Ridgeburg (actually Hamilton, Ontario), precocious high-schooler Duane Balfour (Douglas Smith) engages in a futile, lifelong competition against fat rich kid Chad Milton (Nicholas Carella). After losing a student election to him and being beaten up yet again by his nemesis, Duane decides to run for mayor against Chad’s grandmother, Kelly (Rosemary Dunsmore). He’s aided by long-suffering g.f. Molly (Jane McGregor) and layabout Uncle Bingo (Ottawa-born Donal Logue). Cruel gags fall flat, and what’s worse, Duane comes across as an obsessive, self-absorbed dunce. Alberta Watson (“Spanking the Monkey”) as Duane’s weary mom is the sole thesp with any impact; how Vivica A. Fox ended up playing his tolerant high school teacher is anybody’s guess. Tech package is more skillful than the story deserves.

Citizen Duane

Canada

Production

A ThinkFilm release (in Canada) of an Accent Entertainment production. Produced by Susan Cavan, Carolynne Bell. Directed by Michael Mabbott. Screenplay, Jonathan Sobol, Robert DeLeskie.

Crew

Camera (color), Adam Swica; editors, James Bredin, Mike Munn; music, Michael Shields; production designer, Gregory P. Keen. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 9, 2006. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Douglas Smith, Donal Logue, Vivica A. Fox, Alberta Watson, Devon Bostick, Jane McGregor, Nicholas Carella, Rosemary Dunsmore.
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