(Rêver en couleur)
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 88 min
Phoenix Films Productions Ltd.
is a light-hearted, coming-of-age story about four high school friends – Mike (Don Scardino), Steve (Ralph Endersby), Cooly (Mike Kukulewich) and Richie (Peter Gross) – desperately trying to be hip and gain acceptance among their peers. They make a film and form a rock band, but all their attempts to fit in end in sad humiliation. When Mike inherits a plot of land in the Northern Ontario bush, their decision to form a commune finally brings them the attention they crave: word spreads through the school and they become big men on campus. But their disastrous, ephemeral attempt to live off the land leads them back to the comforts of home – where they must face up to life’s realities.
Director Don Shebib’s second feature, sandwiched between his far superior Goin’ Down the Road (1970) and Between Friends (1973), plays off the inherent divide between the urban and the rural in Canadian culture, as well as the rift at the time between the older generation and the youth culture that strove to change the system. It was also a relatively unsuccessful attempt by Shebib – a veritable expert at depicting a working class milieu – to focus on the plight of middle class characters. A disappointment in many respects, Rip-Off was dismissed by critics and received only minimal distribution.