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Fetching Cody

Ungainly mix of gritty street-life drama, perky teen romance and seriocomic sci-fi time-tripping never jells in "Fetching Cody," the debut feature by Canadian writer-director David Ray. Appealing young leads generate interest, however, and the underlying premise may intrigue venturesome vid renters and cable viewers.

With:
With: Jay Baruchel, Sarah Lind, Jim Byrnes, Lucas Blaney.

Ungainly mix of gritty street-life drama, perky teen romance and seriocomic sci-fi time-tripping never jells in “Fetching Cody,” the debut feature by Canadian writer-director David Ray. Tonal inconsistencies in this small-budget indie about an improbably well-scrubbed street hustler who beats the clock to save his sweetie suggest a freakish collaboration of John Hughes and Gus Van Sant. Appealing young leads generate interest, however, and the underlying premise may intrigue venturesome vid renters and cable viewers.

Art (Jay Baruchel) and Cody (Sarah Lind) are lovey-dovey young fringe-dwellers — he’s a drug peddler, she’s a prostitute — in inner-city Vancouver. When Cody slips into a coma after overdosing, Cody is sufficiently desperate to risk repeated blasts to the past in a low-tech time-machine — a ratty-looking recliner festooned with Christmas lights — found by a homeless geezer (Jim Byrnes). Unfortunately, every time Art attempts to influence Cody’s life choices, he fumbles. (During one trip, he witnesses the suicide of Cody’s closeted gay brother, which is jarringly depicted with comically over-the-top carnage.) Ultimately, he realizes the best way to save Cody’s life may be to make sure they never met. Cop-out ending is a cheat.

Fetching Cody

Canada

Production: A Cheap and Dirty Prods. production. Produced by Carolyn Allain, Christina Bulbrook. Co-producer: David Ray. Directed, written by David Ray, from story by Ray, Carolyn Allain.

Crew: Camera (color), Paul Mitchnick; editor, Karen Porter; music, Phillip Western; production designer, Marti Wright; art director, David Croal; set decorator, Erinne Drake. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Canada First!), Sept. 17, 2005. Running time: 87 MIN.

With: With: Jay Baruchel, Sarah Lind, Jim Byrnes, Lucas Blaney.

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