REVIEW: The Right Kind of Wrong
In the real world Leo Palamino (Ryan Kwanten) would be a stalker, an obsessed man so enamored with Colette (Sara Canning) that he follows her every move, plays Peeping Tom and even shows up at her wedding to announce his undying love for her.
In “The Right Kind of Wrong,” however, he’s the romantic lead, a “charmer” who won’t take no for an answer.
When we first meet Leo he’s a struggling writer, making ends meet as a dishwasher at his friend Mandeep’s (Raoul Bhaneja) restaurant. He’s also unhappily married to Julie (Kristen Hager).
“I’ve been writing a blog about you,” she announces, “about how much you suck.”
The marriage falls apart and Leo must deal with Julie’s newfound fame as a star blogger, turned author turned hot topic chat show guest. Her notoriety and his prominence as a “major pop culture reference” (for all the wrong reasons) makes it hard for him to move on with his life until he catches a glimpse of Colette on her wedding day. Instantly smitten he makes it his life’s work to shed his image as the world’s worst husband and pry her away from the arms of her husband Danny (Ryan McPartlin), a rich lawyer who looks like a superhero but behaves like a lout.
Based on Tim Sandin’s novel “Sex and Sunsets,” “The Right Kind of Wrong” is meant to be a feel good rom com but despite some engaging performances—most notably from Bhaneja has the kind-hearted boss and best friend and Catherine O’Hara as Colete’s eccentric mother—is saddled with a predictable, silly script that isn’t nearly as charming as it thinks it is.
“Benny & Joon” director Jeremiah Chechik takes a traditional approach to the material for the most part—there are precocious kids (Maya Samy and Mateen Devji), square jawed hunks and beautiful Banff, Albert as a backdrop—but there’s something that feels wonky about the casting of Kwanten as the love sick lead.
Stubble aside (does he only own razors that leave a quarter inch of stubble on his well formed face?) he manages to pull off some of unrealistic dreamer Leo’s innocence but not the comedy so crucially required to make this unusual fairytale work.
The story doesn’t make sense. Who, other than Ben Braddock would actually declare his love for a woman he doesn’t know at her wedding? You need some very clever character work to get us past that glaring plot device and it just isn’t here, in the script or in Kwanten’s performance.
Top it off with what can only be described as a disturbing consummation scene—it most definitely isn’t a love scene—and you’re left with a movie that should have been called “More Wrong than Right.”