2015 Canadian Film Festival: ‘Ben’s at Home’ Review

Ben's at home

Ben’s at home

What happens when somebody breaks up with you? Do you listen to endless hours of Adele? Or are you the more optimistic kind, picking up a new hobby or trying something new for the very first time? Nothing hits harder than realizing the person you once loved the most is no longer part of your life, at all.

After a bad breakup and the painful realization that he has hit the 30 mark, Ben (Dan Abramovici) decides to coop himself up at home forever, scared that he will bump into his ex-girlfriend Katie or be rejected again in a social setting. As the days go by absurdly with a plethora of online hookups at home and home delivery, you can see the stress and grief all over Ben’s face as he tries to cover it up with a smile. His friends try to convince him to go outside and to attend best friend Jim’s wedding. To no avail, stubborn Ben takes on different “work from home” jobs and relies on his online hookups for any sort of human connection from the outside world.

But then Jess enters the story. She’s a delivery girl, and unlike his online hookups, Ben takes a special fancy towards her, realizing that they have more in common than just their mutual love for flavoured shisha. When Jess finds out about Ben’s hermit life, she finds it difficult to come to terms and eventually leaves him. Ben regrets what he has done, realizes his delusional ways and pursues Jess.

Ben’s At Home shines light on our increasingly digital world, where there’s a convenient way to seemingly get anything to your doorsteps these days. With the multiple of dating apps, online grocery shopping and work from home opportunities, perhaps Ben’s absurd stay-at-home life isn’t so absurd after all. This movie shows that we need to take a step back, unplug and enjoy what life has to offer beyond our smartphones and laptops. Human to human interaction is key to happiness.

Ben’s character is super relatable. He messes up his words, he makes bad decisions and he creeps his ex’s Facebook page. Although his socially awkward self turns people off sometimes, it is nice to see a movie show how much each one of us do the embarrassing things Ben does every day. I mean that awkward game of foosball alone with the strangest and funniest thing I’ve witnessed all day.

A high in the movie was definitely the original music by Freedom or Death. The lovely indie sound against an indie backdrop of downtown Toronto’s residential neighbourhoods and moody cinematography work very well together. It’s very exciting to see how much can happen in 70 minutes, in just the main character’s house, because you want to learn his fate. I wanted to jump in, shake him up and get him out of the situation too.

Unfortunately, Ben’s At Home failed to include any form of diversity within their cast. By diversity, they could have included people from all walks of life with different sexual orientations, identities, races, socioeconomic backgrounds, abilities and so much more. It would’ve been interesting to see how they incorporated the different types of people that Toronto has to offer, especially for a Canadian indie film set in Toronto.

With an enjoyable plot unfolding at just the right pace, Ben’s At Home is still an enjoyable film, but ironically, best viewed when you’re cooped up at home with a tub of ice cream. 3.5/5

Ben’s at Home will be playing at The Royal Theatre March 28 at 3:45 p.m. 

Tickets can be purchased here!

Watch the trailer for Ben’s at Home below


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