Directed by Jude Klassen
Starring Jude Klassen, Kika Kay, T.C. Folkpunk, Wendy Sinclair, Brett M. Butler, Jayson G. Butler, Shay Steinberg, Lisa Sontonato
Indie film review by Monica Jowett
A genre defying feature film, Love in the Sixth combines elements of comedy, drama, musicals and a dash on romance, set against Toronto’s artistic community. Written and directed by Jude Klassen (who also stars), this dysfunctional romantic comedy is an example of artistic collaboration.
Love in the Sixth follows the lives of a group of people all going through some difficult relationships with one another. At the centre is Dani (Jude Klassen) a single mother raising a pre-teen daughter Kat (Mika Kay), who is obsessed with the environment and politics. As well as the troubles of raising her daughter, Dani has a dysfunctional relationship with her boyfriend Sid (T.C. Folkpunk) a singer songwriter. Alongside Dani is Mavis (Wendy Sinclair) a polyamorous woman involved with two brothers Brett (Brett M. Butler) and Jay (Jayson G. Butler) and then Qalie (Shay Steinberg) and Tamara (Lisa Sontonato) a lesbian couple whose personalities are strikingly different.
Love in the Sixth is a collaborative work between actors, editors, producers and friends. Though there is a clear feeling the people on screen are friends, this indie film feels as though too many ideas were thrown together making the outcome a mixture that is hard to follow. At times we are shown a musical, then a comedy breaking the fourth wall as a podcast is set up within the film. Fortunately, the teamwork put into this feature means that none of the characters shown are one dimensional; each and every one of them has an assortment of issues plaguing them which are intriguing and entertaining. Though they could be portraying a version of themselves, at least they are complicated, engaging characters.
The music is a particular highlight of Love in the Sixth. Clever lyrics reflect on what has just happened on screen and provide insight to the characters Klassen has sculpted. A combination of filmmaking styles matches the combination of genres on offer. At times filmed like a documentary, then like a small budget music video, Love in the Sixth is a self-aware piece of filmmaking that its creators can be proud of.