Film Review - Rare Beasts (2019)

Still image from Rare Beasts with Billie Piper and Toby Woolf

If you’re not used to British humour the opening scene of this film might make you want to bail, but don’t. Give it a chance. Written, directed and starring Billie Piper, Rare Beasts is a quirky story about Mandy, a single Mom navigating the dating world while trying to raise her sweet yet hyperactive son and maintain a career in an office with a toxic boss and intolerable coworkers.

Mandy is dating her coworker Pete. They’re an odd pair. He’s a bit more of a traditionalist (wife obeys the husband type), and Mandy is much more free and liberal. She’s also struggling with anxiety and other mental health issues and watching the end of her parents’ marriage. The relationship she has with her father is strained and distant and her mother, who now lives with her, is consumed by a broken heart and trying to figure out why her marriage failed.

Mandy wants nothing more than to build a strong foundation for her son and find a man to love her. You really can’t help but root for Mandy. She may be broken but she deserves love and happiness.

I found this movie to be so relatable as I’m also stumbling through the dating world. And this story really echoes the thoughts many of my single friends, male and female, have had… is this really what’s out there?!

“These days we wait and wait for everything to align with the stars and it just doesn’t happen”.

Rare Beasts is described as an anti rom-com. It’s definitely an odd, explosive, unsettling and messy film, but isn’t that real life? It really does blow up the rom-com genre and pave the way for a more realistic look at love and relationships in this day. It might not leave you feeling optimistic about romance but it gave me a renewed sense of never giving up on what I want out of life and for my future relationship.

Rare Beasts is available Friday August 20 via VOD on all major cable providers (Bell, Rogers, Telus, etc) and on Apple iTunes and Google Play.

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