I Put A Hit On You (for Dork Shelf)

Opening tomorrow in Toronto, I Put A Hit On You is a story about a very dysfunctional couple. When Harper (Sara Canning) proposes to Ray (Aaron Ashmore) and he refuses, she gets drunk and puts an ad on Craig’s List offering her engagement ring in exchange for his death. Things get really tricky when someone actually answers the ad.

I’m a closet The Vampire Diaries fan (it’s gotten too convoluted lately — let’s not go there), so I’ve had my eye on Sara Canning for a while. She’s brought a lot of charm and presence to the roles she’s played, and she’s a great choice for Harper. It’s hard to make us believe that a woman who just proposed to her boyfriend would then immediately get drunk and hire a hitman to kill him — and then would turn around to save him when she sobered up and realized what she’d done. It could’ve easily been played too big and screwballish, but that’s not what she did. She made the character almost plausible. That believability for a character in a patently unreal situation is what makes the film so enjoyable.

And as for Ashmore, he’s a perfect counterpoint. He’s very good at doing that thing that drives partners in relationships crazy, which is saying everything’s fine when you absolutely know there’s something bugging him. It’s very easy to believe that these two are at the end of a long, sometimes stressful relationship, complete with nitpicky arguments about the sharpness of his kitchen knives. It hits a little close to home, actually, which also helps in the believability of this kind of dark comedy.

Putting aside for a minute the few little continuity errors (like when Harper runs out into a hallway that was supposed to be covered with broken glass in her bare feet), as well as some elements that are slightly less believable than others (like why not just call the cops?), this is a clever film made with a good cast that is worth seeing. Check it out at the Royal this weekend if you’re all caught up on everything else that’s out and you’ve run out of Oscar bait to catch.

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