tek's rating: ¼

X-Rated, CBC (Canadian)
Epitome Pictures; IMDb

This 1994 TV movie served as a pilot for the TV series Liberty Street. The movie's title is just a sort of lame pun on the term "Generation X"; there's nothing remotely x-rated about the movie. (If I was giving it a rating, I'd say PG-13 would be appropriate.)

There's this recent business school graduate named Tony Foster (played by Gordon Michael Woolvett, who would later become more familiar to me as Seamus Harper in Andromeda). He's looking for work, but not having any luck. And he needs to raise some capital within three months, because he wants to invest in a business venture called Club Mex. He asks his mother and stepdad, Louise and Harold, for money, but they don't think the venture will work out. Meanwhile, there's a run-down apartment building called the Epitome (aka 'the Pit'), the superintendant of which has just died. And the building happens to belong to Louise and Harold, who decide to sell the place. But the real estate agent doesn't want to even list the building, because it's in such bad shape. So Tony convinces them to let him try to sell it; he could use his commission on Club Mex. They give him a small budget to fix the place up, and he hires his old friend Mack Fischer- who's recently gotten out of prison- to help him. Before they even start working on it, Tony sends out flyers advertising the building. He gets some interest from a DJ named "Drive Home Dave" (an old friend of his parents, I guess), who also used to live at the Epitome, a couple decades ago. He wants to look at the building in three weeks, which is considerably less time than it should take to fix all the problems.

The tenants have a long list of repairs they want made (and they consider Tony's parents slum lords). They include a belligerent bike messenger named Marsha 'Mars' Velasquez; a couple named Lucille Trudeau (who we like) and Ernie Kravitz, who run a store together in the Pit's basement, selling nostalgic items; two guys named Flex Roy (played by Richard Chevolleau, who I later got to know as Augur in Earth: Final Conflict) and Wilson Carlisle, who have a silk screening business, for which they've appropriated an unoccupied apartment on which they're not paying rent; an anti-social, nihilistic, conspiracy theorist kind of guy named Stuart Ball; a gay Native Canadian bike messenger named Nathan Jones, whom Marsha invites to share her apartment after she's injured chasing down a yellow Mercedes that she has a vendetta against; and River Owen (who we like; played by Stacie Mistysyn, of whom I was already a fan from Degrassi High), a world-traveling free spirit who returns from Guatemala to find things not as she left them when she sublet her appartment to someone named Sage. Tony has an immediate attraction to River, but they have very different ideologies, which is a problem.

Anyway... I don't want to say how it all ends, but it was a fairly fun movie. Looking back, it's a bit dated because of things like the size of Tony's cell phone, and the bike messengers worried about losing their jobs because of the increasing prevalence of fax machines. But basically I think it holds up. Of course, the ensemble nature makes it the kind of thing that would work better as a series, so you have time to get to know all the various characters better. And like I said... it became a series. So I guess I liked it better as a pilot than I would have as a stand-alone movie....


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