Review: At Home By Myself With You

Last night The Royal screened, to an enthusiastic audience, the Toronto opening of At Home By Myself With You.  The presence of the director (Kris Booth), producer, and members of the cast added to the ‘film-premiere’ feeling of the event (I totally love it when films are introduced by someone on stage!). After viewing this charming, lighthearted romantic comedy (set and filmed in Toronto), I can safely say that director Kris Booth certainly made the very most of his tiny $40,000 budget! At Home is a small, sweet movie, filmed entirely in one woman’s apartment, and relying on the talents of its actors to carry it.  It centres on a young woman with a lot of phobias; lobsters, kissing, storms, and opening boxes.  In fact, Romy (Kristen Booth) hasn’t left her apartment in years.  She relies on her UPS delivery man, best friend Erin (Shauna MacDonald), and neighbour Bessie (Rosemary Dunsmore) to help her get the things she needs, and more importantly open the boxes of stuff that she’s ordered. Romy’s life begins to unravel when Bessie dies unexpectedly and her nephew (Aaron Abrams) moves in to clear out her apartment.  I won’t spoil the rest of it for you, but suffice it to say, this new neighbour makes Romy question a lot of things about her life, her future, and her phobias. The addition of Gordon Pinsent’s narration is spot-on (I kind of want him to narrate my life), but after it’s great opening sequence, the first 15 minutes are a bit slow.  However, director Booth quickly picks up the pace, the humour, and adds a little more...

The Toronto Film Scene Reviews ‘At Home By Myself With You’

After viewing this charming, lighthearted romantic comedy (set and filmed in Toronto), I can safely say that director Kris Booth certainly made the very most of his tiny $40,000 budget! At Home is a small, sweet movie, filmed entirely in one woman’s apartment, and relying on the talents of its actors to carry it.   It centres on a young woman with a lot of phobias; lobsters, kissing, storms, and opening boxes.   In fact, Romy (Kristen Booth) hasn’t left her apartment in years.   She relies on her UPS delivery man, best friend Erin (Shauna MacDonald), and neighbour Bessie (Rosemary Dunsmore) to help her get the things she needs, and more importantly open the boxes of stuff that she’s ordered. Romy’s life begins to unravel when Bessie dies unexpectedly and her nephew (Aaron Abrams) moves in to clear out her apartment.   I won’t spoil the rest of it for you, but suffice it to say, this new neighbour makes Romy question a lot of things about her life, her future, and her phobias. The addition of Gordon Pinsent’s narration is spot-on (I kind of want him to narrate my life), but after it’s great opening sequence, the first 15 minutes are a bit slow.   However, director Booth quickly picks up the pace, the humour, and adds a little more emotional depth to the characters, and I quickly forgot about the slightly lacklustre beginning.   As the film progresses, the characters feel less and less like caricatures, and more like people. This is a sweet movie, charming and slightly goofy, filled with solid acting performances, especially those...

Thestar.com Reviews ‘At Home By Myself With You’

Kristin Booth plays a young agoraphobe in ‘At Home By Myself…With You.’ One of two micro-budgeted Canadian movies playing the Royal this week (the other is Zooey & Adam), At Home By Myself … With You has already earned some attention due to its director’s unique efforts to get the money to make it. Unlucky with the various funding agencies, Toronto filmmaker Kris Booth went with metaphorical hat in hand to friends, colleagues and strangers. A Facebook page named “I’m Making a Movie With Pocket Change” aided his campaign. After raising $42,000, he set to work on this debut feature with a similarly plucky group of local actors. Like so many Canadian filmmakers who’ve had to operate under severe budget constraints, Booth has limited the number of locations needed for his production to one (hey, it worked for Vincenzo Natali with Cube). In this case, it’s the brightly coloured apartment home of Romy (Kristin Booth, no relation to the director), a young agoraphobe who has not left her place in six years. It’s easy to see why she believes that “bad things happen” when she goes outside, seeing as previous excursions led to the tragic deaths of her parents, her first boyfriend and her dog. They also inspired the other phobias (e.g., lobsters, opening boxes) that add further complications to her daily life and her career as a travel agent. Romy clearly needs a reason to change and he arrives in the form of a handsome new neighbour who coyly refuses to tell her his name. Shenanigans ensue as they try to cope with each other’s many foibles. All romantic comedies thrive or...