I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about it along the way. There will be spoilers.
Ten years since High School graduation, deli clerk (Chris Marquette) still lives in the shadow of the humiliating public rejection of his marriage proposal to High School sweetheart Sheena DeWilde (Amanda Crew). Sheena is now a successful, if troubled, Pro-Wrestler, and is returning to town for their High School reunion and announce her retirement. Corey struggles both to make the event a success for Sheena, and to remind her of what they once had.
Chokeslam is another rom-com.
Is this going to be a thing? How many rom-coms am I going to watch for this project and dangit, how many am I going to enjoy?
I really thought going into this movie that I wouldn’t like it. I should know by now to ignore ratings especially with Canadian media because I’ve found lower budget Canadian films and TV shows aren’t judged to the same level as other projects. I read a few reviews that automatically took away stars, points, whatever their unit of measurement was because Chokeslam had a lower budget. Shouldn’t we be looking at all lower budget films on the same level?
With that in mind Chokeslam makes the most of its funding, filmed in small town Lumsden and larger city Regina, Saskatchewan it takes the traditional romantic comedy framework and twists it by adding wrestling and a rather complex female role with issues and troubles that make her multi-layered and interesting. Sheena (Crew) is the wrestler coming back to the small town she grew up in and that’s known only for her (there are big billboards with her picture and stage name on them coming into town). Amanda Crew does an outstanding job. Leading man Chris Marquette playing Corey Swanson has just as many layers, shaped by first a failed marriage proposal to Sheena and then a misunderstanding that landed him in hospital. His life is as simple as wanting to own the deli he works in.
But what about Michael Eklund? In this movie he plays Luke Petrie, the quintessential “popular guy in high school who has amounted to nothing in life.”