An aspiring singer-songwriter falls for a local bookstore clerk while still being married to her husband in The Swearing Jar.
Carey (Adelaide Clemens) isn’t just a newlywed and married to Simon (Patrick J. Adams), she also learns early on that she’s pregnant. Her mother-in-law, Bev (Kathleen Turner), is a real Debbie Downer and doesn’t take kindly to this news at first. A lot of this is because she’s afraid Simon will turn into his father and leave them. To be fair, Simon’s dad didn’t so much leave his family but he actually died. But anyway, the complications ensue when Carey starts falling for bookstore clerk Owen (Douglas Smith) whether she wants to or not. This causes her to be late for doctor appointments while Simon arrives on time. What is it that they say? The heart wants what the heart wants. Love is weird. But again, she’s a married woman and expecting a child!
Let’s back up for a moment. When we first meet them, Carey, a music teacher, is throwing a birthday concert for Simon’s 40th birthday. However, all becomes clear throughout the film’s run time. If you’ve seen the play, you’re in a better position than newcomers. What happens next is that the film goes into flashback mode. There are secrets in this film, for better or worse. If you’re a newcomer, as I was, I’ll let you find out for yourself when you watch the film. It’s better that way!
Adelaide Clemens has never sung on screen before. She’s done voicework in the past but filmgoers have never seen her like this. All of the cast is solid in the film but landing an actress of Kathleen Turner’s caliber is a coupe for any independent film.
Screenwriter Kate Hewlett bases the script on her award-winning play of the same name. There are multiple genres at hand, including music, comedy, drama, and yes, romance. The main themes here revolve around love and forgiveness. Carey and Simon also get into a number of arguments with each other, probably more than what is considered healthy for their relationship. The cast in The Swearing Jar is a solid ensemble as director Lindsay MacKay presents a film that is somewhere between comedy and drama.
DIRECTOR: Lindsay MacKay
SCREENWRITER: Kate Hewlett
CAST: Adelaide Clemens, Douglas Smith, with Patrick J. Adams and Kathleen Turner
The Swearing Jar holds its world premiere during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival in the Contemporary World Cinema program. Gravitas Ventures will release in theaters and VOD on September 23, 2022. Grade: 3.5/5
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