A midlife crisis dramedy that is a joy to watch thanks to the performance by Charlie Gillespie.


Release Date: February 23, 2024
Runtime: 01:33
When her only daughter goes off to university, an empty nest mother gets stuck taking care of her daughter’s heart-broken ex-boyfriend, who she can’t stand.

A divorcee finds herself having to take care of her daughter's heartbroken ex-boyfriend in . Susan () is a lonely divorcee, who is having a tough time adapting to the fact that he daughter Brooke () has moved away to Montreal for university. However, Susan receives a frantic call from Brooke saying that her recently dumped boyfriend Gage () attempted suicide by jumping off a water tower. Despite having a dislike towards him, and his frequent use of the nickname “Suze,” Susan visits Gage in the hospital and is asked by his oil driller father Rick () to keep an eye on Gage while he leaves to finish a contract. As such, Gage moves in with Susan and the two frenemies begin to get to know each other better.

Suze Synopsis

Suze is a dramedy written and directed by Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart (I Put a Hit on You). The film stars Michaela Watkins (Wanderlust, In a World…) as the titular Susan, aka Suze, who in the opening scene discovers her husband Alan () cheating on her with his golf teacher Jacinta (). In the aftermath of the subsequent divorce, Susan begins revolving her life around her teenage daughter Brooke. However, Susan is annoyed by the constant presence of Brooke's boyfriend Gage, played by Charlie Gillespie (The Rest of Us, Totally Killer). Susan is also thrown aback by the revelation that Brooke is moving across the country to attend university.

Gage ends up becoming immensely heartbroken when Brooke, following her mother's advice, suddenly breaks up with him and he ends up attempting to take his life. Gage's father Rick, who barely even cares what his son is up to, bestows temporary guardianship of Gage onto Susan. As Gage is on suicide watch, he must accompany her everywhere. As Susan gets to know him better, she begins to understand what Gage is all about.

My Thoughts on Suze

About a decade ago, I saw directors Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart's 2011 short film Long Branch, which was an excellent 15-minute romance. Suze is the duo's second feature film, following 2014's I Put a Hit on You, and in some ways can be described as a romantic comedy. However, instead of involving a couple getting together, it is about a mother learning to get along with her daughter's ex-boyfriend. As such, this makes Suze somewhat similar to 2017's The Big Sick.

Suze is also a midlife crisis movie, as Susan finds herself having a difficult time adjusting to the empty nest syndrome after her daughter Brooke goes to university. There is a romantic subplot in the film that develops with Carl (), the teacher of a GED class that Gage has begun attending. Susan also comes to realize that her relationship with Brooke was more one-sided than she initially believed.

The element that makes Suze a joy to watch is the performance by Charlie Gillespie as Gage. On the surface, Gage is a loveable dude-bro, who loves playing music, including a memorable piano serenade of Roxette's “It Must Have Been Love,” and attending cuddle parties. However, he is also a very insecure young man, who is desperate for acceptance, as he has an apathetic father, played as an absolute jerk by Aaron Ashmore, and an incarcerated mother. In some ways, the relationship he shares with “Suze” is Gage's coping mechanism for these insecurities. As such, overall I would say that Suze is a film that is worth checking out.

Trailer for Suze

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.