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Notes from the Back Row

Keeping score

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In the old days, back when the cool thing to do on the weekend was jack all the golf carts from the Whistler Golf Course and rally them into the water hazards, Squamish was kind of a shit hole. Weird vibe, weird people, just weird. Seems like the times are-a-changing. Yeah, sure it’s still always too windy and it was only two years ago the Vancouver papers were comparing Squamish Youth to South Central LA street gangs, but the fact is Squamish is on the up and up. There’s good people, good places to eat, and well, it’s not Whistler. And, perhaps most importantly now that the “eyes of the world” are upon us, Squamish is way more Hollywood than Whistler.

What gets filmed in Whistler? TV commercials, movie of the weeks (if we’re lucky), that WHISTLER TV show, if it’s still on. Whistler’s biggest claim to the silver screen is a couple cheap Hot Dog rip offs from the late ’80s and that lesbian TV show.

Squamish, on the other hand, is where the big boys go to play. From Ice Cube ( Are We There Yet?) to Johnny Knoxville and the Rock ( Walking Tall) to Sharon Stone in her prime (1993’s Sliver ,) even Kevin Smith has worked there. Yes, when Hollywood comes to town, they come to Squamish.

Now granted, I haven’t seen Quentin Tarantino down there yet, and the aforementioned are not grade-A pictures, but the DVD of the week, featuring Squamish, is a Farrelly Bros. produced, slightly twisted little comedy that a person can really get into after only a couple one-footers, no matter what town you live in.

Say It Isn’t So is pretty much a typical love story. Nice guy (Chris Klein) meets girl (Heather Graham), says a few sensitive things, admits that he used to jerk off to a Susanne Sommers poster, and before you know it they’re in love, engaged, and on fire in the sack. Things get untypical (and funny) pretty fast when he finds out she’s his sister. Seems he was adopted as a baby and her parents are also his real parents. Of course the wedding’s off and we’re treated to another hour of “sister-slammer” jokes.

Featuring a cast of true comedians, including Sally Fields, Sarah Silverman, Orlando Jones (as a pimp-ass dope smuggler/pilot with no legs) and, of course, Susanne Sommers this movie was hated on by American critics and audiences. Probably because incest jokes and getting dragged through town with your fist in a cow’s ass is a bit too off centre for the standard “good-Christian-values” kind of chap. All I know is, I laughed quite a few times. Even though it was set in Beaver, Oregon, I think Say It Isn’t So , from the beautiful sunrise-hits-the-Chief timelapse to a number of good scenes in that ghetto down by the flea market, really captured the look and feel of what it was like to be in Squamish in 2001.

It wasn’t 2001, more like 1991, that those golf carts ended up in that water trap and if I remember correctly, word on the school bus was that the Squamish kids (we still called them kids back then, not “Youth”) were the ones who did it. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. But I bet ya, if they’re still around, still living in their home town, those Squamish kids probably all own homes and are laughing at us Whistler kids-still paying rent and the best we’ve got is a two bit TV show not even filmed here. If anyone’s keeping score out there, chock one up for Squamish, the Sea To Sky’s king of the Silver Screen.

AT VILLAGE 8 DEC. 8-14: Blood Diamond; The Holiday; Apocalypto; Unaccompanied Minors; Nativity Story; Babel; Déjà vu; Borat; Happy Feet; Casino Royale.

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