"Funkytown," set in Montreal during the disco phenomenon, follows a group of characters, some based on real people, who all converge at the Starlight club, the place to be seen. They are all trying to climb to a higher social status, but just as quickly begin to spiral into bad decisions, dangerous escapades, or addictions.
The opening scene, with its music, lights, and groovy disco tackiness, promises an entertaining film. But unfortunately, that comes to an end as quickly as you can say....I love to love you, baby... This film, for starters, was given the wrong name, as it’s far from funky. The acting is weak, with a few exceptions, and so is the script.
The character of Bastien Lavallée, played by Patrick Huard, is a central part of this story. At the start, he is juggling a radio DJ gig (which we see him do once and then is dropped from the plot), a hosting job of a disco party TV show, going to acting auditions (his first choice in careers), making appearances at home with his wife and tween daughter, and womanizing. It’s quite exhausting, but it makes him larger than life and the guy everybody wants to hang with at the clubs, as long as he can do something to help on their climb to the top. His involvement with the lovely Adriana, played by Sarah Mutch, a climber herself, weakens him immediately. We goes from "never touching the stuff" to doing cocaine and other things this viewer did not recognize, to forgetting to go home to his family for days, to renting a townhouse for Adriana so they can have their sex and drug fests, getting kicked out by the wife, and bombing live on TV.
The young Tino DeiFioru, played by Justin Chatwin, is a "Saturday Night Fever"-type who goes from working at his family restaurant to trying to get into disco dance contests with his girlfriend. His girlfriend says they can’t have sex until they’re married, which he uses as an excuse to blow and get blown under the bridge, a common place for gay men to be victimized by gay bashers, which Tino’s friends happen to be. He begins lying about his whereabouts and leading a double life, one that does not stop with marriage.
"Funkytown" feels more like a low-budget TV sitcom than a film, with too many snippets that make the viewer forget the other characters we haven’t seen in a while. It’s a rental, for sure, but only if your choices are limited. Running time is 32 minutes and it is not rated.