'The Go-Getters' and the Pigs of Hogtown

The Go-Getters
(Canada, 84 min.)
Dir. Jeremy LaLonde, Writ. Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall
Starring: Aaron Abrams, Tommie-Amber Pirie, Kristian Bruun, James Cade, Christine Horne
Tommie-Amber Pirie and Aaron Abrams star in The Go-Getters
People say Canadians are nice, but I say fuck that nonsense.

We’re not “nice.” We’re just nicer than people from the USA are, and they aren’t very nice to begin with. Like, really—have you ever been to Toronto? It’s colder than an outhouse in Whitehorse!

Perhaps the most accurate portrait of Hogtown yet comes with this week’s release of the irreverently funny satire The Go-Getters. New from director Jeremy LaLonde (How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town, Sex After Kids), this foul-mouthed portrait of Canadian bacon earns its R-rating. It’s the most unsanitary Canadian film of the year—I mean, it literally opens with someone getting peed on—and it’s the funniest.

By no means is The Go-Getters the most likable Canadian film of 2018, either, but that’s the point. The film features two true anti-heroes in drunken asshole Owen (Aaron Abrams, Closet Monster) and junkie hooker Lacie (Tommie-Amber Pirie, Don’t Get Killed in Alaska) who team up once their antics of getting wasted and causing a ruckus in a shitty dive bar run by Owen’s brother Kevin (Kristian Bruun) get them kicked to the curb. They decide to skip down by hitching a ride on the Greyhound to Brockville—Kingston’s rival for the title of “Ontario’s armpit”—but they need 98 bucks to cover the tickets.

Sure, Lacie could theoretically raise the money through blowjobs but she’s a terrible hooker and Owen isn’t much use for anything. The dirty rotten scoundrels decide to cheat and steal their way to their goal, amassing Toonies, Loonies, and Wilfrid Lauriers along the way. Nobody is safe from these hustlers as they rob from the poor, crippled, and vulnerable. Shit hits the fan as Lacie’s ex-pimp, Cerebral Paulie (James Cade), wants in on the action, and just when it seems that The Go-Getters can’t possibly up the ante, it does.

Pretty much everyone is up for grabs as Owen and Lacie rain more shit on Toronto than Doug Ford after a bad bowl of chili. Abrams and Pirie are a fun tag team as Owen and Lacie dive head first into the mud and roll around in it. They’re wild and unhinged, playing off one another’s manic energy, inspiring the other to let go of their inhibitions further and further. The film demands the actors to basically play the “Penis Game” and up the stakes with each scene. The Go-Getters is the raunchy adventure that Movie 43 tried to be and utterly, spectacularly failed to be. A comedy can be vulgar *and* funny with the right talents.

The fearlessly funny script by Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall turns milquetoast Canada on its head and finds the humour in the black-hearted reality of our self-centred buck-a-beer culture. Aided by an ace supporting cast that includes Christine Horne as Chablis, the Roller-Girl of Sherbourne St, Tony Nappo as a barfly with a potpourri of fetishes, and Ennis Esmer as a lone beacon of kindness and sanity, everyone seems to be having a good time letting it all hang out. The Go-Getters is dirty, crass, vulgar, depraved, mean-spirited, black-hearted, foul-mouthed, offensive, politically incorrect, trashy, and whacked-out hilarious.

The Go-Getters opens in Toronto (Carlton), Ottawa (Mayfair), and Calgary (Globe) on Dec. 7