Heartwarming Canadian movie Suze is charming – movie review

By Alexandra Heilbron on February 23, 2024 | Leave a Comment

Suze tells the story of a mother who is so consumed with giving her daughter everything that she doesn’t have a life of her own. Susan is the mother of Brooke, a high school senior who is about to graduate and to Susan’s horror, her daughter has decided to study at McGill University, a four-hour drive away.

Michaela Watkins and Charlie Gillespie in SuzeThe only positive thing about this move for Susan is the fact that Brooke’s boyfriend, long-haired musician Gage, whom she can’t stand, didn’t graduate high school and won’t be going along.

It’s clear that Brooke is exasperated by Susan’s hovering, and that she chose to go to McGill (and didn’t tell her mother until the last minute) to get away from her.

Susan is lost without Brooke (Sara Waisglass) and calls her multiple times per day, but Brooke never returns the calls. That is, until she finally calls in a panic because Gage has tried to commit suicide by jumping off the local water tower — and is now in the hospital. Brooke begs her reluctant mother to go visit him and make sure he’s okay.

Visiting Gage is the last thing Susan wants to do, but because she’s wrapped tightly around Brooke’s little finger, she finally gives in. When she gets there, Gage is thrilled to see her. His father is also there, but convinces Susan (whom Gage calls Suess, which leads to others calling her Suze), to take the teen in for a few weeks, because he’ll be working out of town.

Susan doesn’t realize it at first, but this is a blessing in disguise. Both she and Gage are heartbroken over how much love they gave Brooke, who soaked it all in but rarely returned the feeling. Susan keeps watch over Gage, afraid to leave him alone. She even brings him to work to make sure he’s alright. She slowly realizes that Gage is not how she first perceived him.

Although the story starts out like a movie about an empty nester that could have been predictable fare, it turns into so much more as it delves into the characters and how their connection grows over time.

Michaela Watkins plays Suze with humor and depth. We track her growth as the movie progresses and she slowly becomes aware that smothering her child with praise and love hasn’t had the results she’d hoped for.

Charlie Gillespie is a revelation as Gage. Best known prior to this for his role in the Netflix series Julie and the Phantoms, he brings so much good-natured energy, warmth and sweetness to this role that he steals every scene.

The story is charming and engaging, and at 90 minutes the movie flies by – I would have enjoyed seeing more of these characters and their respective journeys. ~Alexandra Heilbron

4.5 out of 5 stars

Suze opens in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver today (February 23, 2024). Click here for showtimes. If you have seen Suze and would like to rate/review it, click here.

Charlie Gillespie says he first saw Suze with his mother and aunt and was thrilled by how much they loved the film. Charlie also hilariously reveals how he felt about eating a dozen huge chocolate chip cookies in one day for a scene and says one of the draws of the film was the fact that he would get to play piano and sing.

Sara Waisglass (Ginny & Georgia) discusses her character, Brooke, in the heartwarming film Suze. She talks about filming in Hamilton, Ontario and reveals how happy she is that Canada produces such great films.

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