It’s always interesting to see a Canadian take on a traditional romantic comedy, and The Right Kind of Wrong, based on the book “Sex and Sunsets” by Tim Sandin, is certainly striving to be a worthy successor to its American counterparts. It has all of the elements: good-looking leads; a pretty locale; a candy-coated landscape and fanciful feel…the one (very important) thing it doesn’t have is a well thought out script.
True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten plays Leo, an eccentric writer who’s reeling from the flop of his first novel and the break-up of his marriage to a woman (Kristen Hager) who has spent her down time documenting his flaws on a wildly popular blog called “Why You Suck” that’s now primed to become a best-selling book. She leaves Leo behind in their sad, little apartment and insists that they split custody of their cats “Snow” and “Balls” – most likely just so there’d be an excuse to have Leo continually say the word “balls.”
On a particularly low day, Leo stumbles upon Collette (Sara Canning) and falls in love at first sight. Unfortunately for him, he meets her just moments before she’s about to get married to a rich, chisel-jawed lawyer/Olympic medalist/philanthropist (Ryan McPartin). Despite the fact that she goes through with the wedding and makes it clear she thinks he’s a nuisance, Leo sets out to convince Collette that she’s with the wrong man.
What ensues are a number of hijinks that are meant to be endearing but in fact come across as alarmingly stalker-like – further proof that some men have no idea what women find romantic (hint: repeatedly interrupting someone at work with your advances or paragliding into the middle of a fancy party? Not okay – even if you look like Ryan Kwanten).
This is one of those movies that is tailor-made to supposedly make the audience feel good. It’s filled with pretty locales and quirky characters (including Catherine O’Hara and Will Sasso in tiny, way underwritten parts) who say funny and adorable things, plus it’s always comforting to know exactly where the story is headed. It’s totally the sort of movie a romcom fan would happily watch on a rainy Sunday while devouring some ice cream on their couch. Director Jeremiah Chechik (Benny and Joon) infuses the film with a light, airy feel that makes it easy to watch even when it starts to get way too teeth-achingly sweet.
Unfortunately, The Right Kind of Wrong is also painfully silly and has a script (written by Megan Martin) rife with the worst clichés that the genre has to offer. There’s absolutely no rhyme or reason to the way the characters act and although our creepy hero supposedly has an arc that sees him finding his way out of his rut, it never feels truly earned because the whole film is so very contrived — which isn’t helped by the choice to over-saturate the visuals so that the whole world takes on a cartoon-like feel — and the outcome so telegraphed from frame one.
In other words, The Right Kind of Wrong is just plain wrong.