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Some SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER with some 54 and some BOOGIE NIGHTS, even some LAST DAYS OF DISCO sprinkled in ... SF Examiner.com --SF Examiner
Top Customer Reviews
This is the era captured pretty well in the 2011 Canadian film "Funkytown," which follows the disco scene in Montreal during the period 1972-1980, based loosely on actual events. The story is told through the stories of various deeply-flawed characters, including the city's #1 popular disco DJ and TV host (who has a serious cocaine problem), a young man thrilled to be dancing on TV with his girlfriend (but secretly harbors a secret: he's gay and deeply in denial about it), a record producer desperately searching for one last star to promote, and a son who is deeply afraid of his father who controls his livelihood. The story is realistic for the period, though quite dark overall. It even briefly covers the growing discontent with disco, and popularity of punk rock as its replacement trend.
US television audiences may recognize Justin Chatwin ("Shameless" who played a gay kid on "Weeds" in the first and final seasons), who is believable as the confused young man. The rest of the cast seems equally capable. The direction seems a bit off, and it is sometimes confusing to follow, since the dialogue is a mix of French and English (often from the same actor in the same scene, which I am told actually happens in bilingual Montreal), with English subtitles. The soundtrack of dozens of classic disco tunes will touch a nostalgic vein among those who are old enough to remember this era. Unrated, would be an "R" due to sexual content and violence. I'm a bit generous with a four star rating (out of five), but I applaud the effort and largely-capable results.
One of the main characters is interesting because of his inability to reconcile his sexuality with his Italian upbringing. His inner conflict causes him and those around him quite a few problems.
All in all it's a movie I liked so well that I will watch it again.
As the film plot develops, so do the side stories. The many sub stories center around the club investor father Giles and his son Daniel the club owner, a flamboyant trendsetter Jonathan, handsome waiter Tino, several rising (or desiring to rise stars), and a TV personality father Bastien. Within each character, we have story lines and of course drama - from cheating husbands to cheating boyfriends to cheating record producers - with a toss of drug addiction, gay bashing, suicide and lip-syncing. Trust me, it's a lot for a film that runs just over 2 hours. There's literally enough content for a short series.
That said, if you're up for a sometimes fun but usually dramatic film with ample music of the period (not by the original artists in most cases), and you like the 70's, you'll probably enjoy the movie. The fictional club Starlight is based on the Lime Light of Montreal. Many of the characters are fictitious, so it's an otherwise fictional film with a few pieces of fact (I'm not a fan of this methodology). What I would love to see is a story based on the infamous Stanley Street which incorporates the club featured in this movie.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This film has become one of my guilty pleasures to watch. I am a fan of Justin Chatwin and he does a great job in his role. Overall, the entire cast is first rate!!!Published 1 month ago by Richard Jones
pretty good. just couldn't multi task during the movie because of subtitles.Published 23 months ago by jenanaw
A Canadian Disco Era Flashback to a similar to Studio 54 genre focusing on 4 main characters who are interconnected to the club scene. Read morePublished on July 24, 2014 by Jamie
Similar to 54 but with some differences. It focuses on the lives of the people in the movie more than the club. Read morePublished on January 4, 2014 by L. D. Auerbach
Brought back lots of memories from the days of Disco music and dancing at the nightclubs Covers a lot of historyPublished on September 12, 2013 by BEAVER
I was very disappointed in the film "Funkytown". I thought that role of Tino played by Justin Chatwin would have been more reflective of the sexual aspects of the disco... Read morePublished on March 16, 2013 by L.R. Jenkins
I'm canadian and love visiting, partying and even living in Montreal. However, this movie is a downward buzz kill that fails to do much than report historical facts between 1973... Read morePublished on February 23, 2013 by DSHEA