April 15, 2014

Netflix Review: Cottage Country (2014)

Cottage Country marks the first time that we've caught a movie on Netflix before it has even been released on VOD or DVD.

It's been on DVD in parts of Europe since 2013, but it still struck us odd that it went to Netflix before it had any other sort of proper release here in The U.S.

I guess that goes to show you just how much release strategies & distribution are changing for lower-budget and Indie movies these days.

Cottage Country is also the first Tyler Labine "comedy" that we didn't find very funny at all.
Todd and Cammie are hopelessly in love; we know this because they only refer to each other by sweet and playful (annoying) nicknames like "Toodles" and "Snuggle Bum." So in love are they, that "Neckbeard" has planned a weekend getaway to the family cottage (in Cottage Country, obviously), so that he can finally propose to "Muffin Ass" and seal their romantic deal for eternity.

"Nuzzle Neck" and "Sassy Puss."
The weekend quickly goes to hell when "Fucktard's" brother Salinger shows up, retarded girlfriend Masha in tow, and proceeds to commandeer the cottage for their use, infringing on the couples quality time. Salinger and Masha are as obnoxious as they are unwanted, and so "Mangina" loses his cool and hits his brother in the face with an axe.

Now, everyone has to die!

Did we mention that Hipster D-bag Salinger invited his slacker gang of cronies up to the cottage to party for the weekend? Because he did, and when they show up, the madcap race to keep everything covered-up is on! Zany hi-jinks and wacky hilarity try to ensue, but don't ever really do much ensuing at all.

It's a bloody mess!
The main problem with Cottage Country is that it just isn't funny. It's a decent effort, and it certainly has its moments, but as a Black Comedy, it just doesn't work that well.

Tyler Labine is usually a funny guy, and we fully expected an experience with this one akin to Tucker & Dale, but the writing here is nowhere near that solid. Malin Ackerman is as talented and charming in Cottage Country as she usually is, but again, the material she's working with just isn't that good.

Even the usually-fun Lucy Punch felt off in this one.
On the positive side, the movie does get relatively bloody, Malin Akerman is about as great as she can be (even in spite of the lackluster material), and the guy who played Dov was pretty funny throughout. It's also a pretty movie to look at, with the gorgeous Canadian backdrop making us remember why we love fall so much.

You want to see a better Tyler Labine movie? Go watch Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, or Best Man Down. Want to see a better Malin Ackerman movie? Check out Watchmen or even The Numbers Station. This movie is neither of their best work.

Then again you may end up enjoying Cottage Country way more than we did, which would be cool with us. We'll feel much better about not liking it if we know that other people do. See that? That's how much we wanted to like this movie.

Why are they pitching a tent inside?
At the end of the day, Cottage Country's biggest fault is that it doesn't know what kind of movie it wants to be; Romantic Comedy, Black Comedy, Crime Drama, Horror... it's all of those things, while managing to be not quite enough of any of them to feel truly right.

This is a passable, average effort, that not even its usually charismatic lead actors could make great. If you have Netflix, do yourself a favor and watch it for free.

Cottage Country is available now on Netflix and VOD, and will be available on DVD on April 22nd.


Hey, at least we got to see Malin Ackerman and Lucy Punch on screen together, and that's not a bad thing at all.

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