What do you get when a father remarries and his new wife has a sketchy past with three adult sons, all from different fathers?
The Steps – a blended family comedy/drama about two disparate families, with all their issues and baggage, learn to come together over the course of a weekend. The most recent export from last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, “The Steps” brings new life to the dysfunctional family comedy.
Jason Ritter plays Jeff, a corporate financial planner in New York, who loses his job, apartment and fiancée. He and his free-spirited sister Marla, played by Emmanuelle Chriqui, are invited by their wealthy yet neglectful father, Ed (James Brolin) to spend the weekend at a lake house in northern Ontario he built for his new wife, Sherry (Christine Lahti).
The weekend will be a chance for Jeff and Marla to hear their dad’s big announcement, and meet Sherry’s kids – David (an energy drink guzzling paintball salesman); his sweet but simple wife, Tammy; brother, Keith (a depressed musician wearing a SCRAM bracelet); and Sherry’s youngest, Sam (a genius of Indian descent).
But it’s all downhill from there. Ed and Sherry announce their plans to adopt Mingmei, an orphaned girl from China. On Monday, a social worker will arrive to interview them all. Sherry’s planned a weekend of bonding activities designed to turn them into a happy, loving blended family.
Easier said than done. When Jeff discovers that his stepmom has been keeping a scandalous secret, the family could be destroyed forever. But Jeff has been keeping a few secrets of his own.
Jason Ritter breathes life into the character of Jeff, with instinctual comedic humour as evidenced in the nunchuck bar scene. Christine Lahti morphs into the role of sassy cougar step-mom so effortlessly, you forget she’s the same actress who played Dr. Kathryn Austin in Chicago Hope.
Directed by indie veteran Andrew Currie, The Steps is a cute and charming family drama/comedy with some tender moments throughout the film. The film was mostly shot in Parry Sound, Ontario, as well as a few scenes shot in Toronto.
Family – whether traditional, or blended – is the theme of The Steps, and a sweet and fun reminder that family is the most important and rewarding treasure one can have.
The Steps will be released in theatres on June 3rd in Halifax, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton, and June 19 in Vancouver.
ENTER TO WIN
Enter to win two pairs of tickets in the following Canadian cities on opening night!
June 3, 2016 release date
Halifax – Park Lane Cinema
Toronto – Cineplex Yonge and Dundas
Calgary – Plaza Theatre
Edmonton – Princess Theatre
June 19, 2016 – release date
Vancouver – The Rio