After the end of The Kids in the Hall
, there was one last project that the troupe wanted to perform - their own movie.
Released in 1996, it tells the tale of Chris Cooper, a pharmacist who works with his love, Alice, trying to create the world's greatest antidepressant for his employer, Roritor Pharmaceuticals. It also details the lives of several people with massive issues (like death metal musician Grivo and repressed homosexual Wally Terzinsky) who eventually get put on this new antidepressant, GLeeMONEX. The drug is rolled out as Chris pushes it to keep from getting fired. And at first, everything is comically okay.
Until it's revealed just why you don't want to rush an antidepressant out the door.
With mixed personal sentiments about the film, The Kids In The Hall
went their separate ways until their reunion in 2000 and subsequent tours in 2007-08, and the 2010 Death Comes To Town
This film contains examples of:
- An Aesop: "The key to being happy is to know you won't be happy every single day. Tra-la la-la la-la."
- Applied Phlebotinum
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: With the fresh approach of a happiness-induced coma. A good point, too. After all, mental health is not predicated upon happiness alone. It's about having the right emotion when it's needed.
- Black Comedy: The entire plot is about folks using antidepressants until they're too blissed out to do anything. And one of the troupe's darkest bits of comedy, Cancer Boy, is brought back for the film (he's actually not on the drug; he already blithely accepts his imminent demise).
- Black Metal: Obviously the kind of music that Grivo performs... until he takes GLeeMONEX.
- The Cameo: Brendan Fraser as a drug tester (who knows he's getting the placebo) and Janeane Garofalo.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Don Roritor, who wants to speed the drug into production to pick up his failing pharmacological empire.
- Driven to Suicide: Chris's father, when Chris was a kid. His father's depression was what inspired Chris to develop an effective antidepressant.
- Expy: The Kids created Wally Terzinsky to be an Expy of their sketch show's Danny Husk.
- Folk Music: What Grivo ends up performing after starting GLeeMONEX.
- Flamboyant Gay: Wally once he's on GLeeMONEX.
- Foreshadowing: Chris is probably at his apex when he comes out to present an award and the MTV Music Awards. The song they play to bring him out? "Spiralling Shape" by They Might Be Giants, a ditty about how folks' lives are ruined by some mysterious object that drives them insane and happy. Things start to fall apart shortly thereafter.
- Funny Foreigner: The cabbie who serves as the Framing Device.
- Gender Bender: In classic Kids In The Hall tradition, many of the roles are played by the five main cast members regardless of gender.
- Gone Horribly Right: GLeeMONEX works by bringing someone's favorite memory to the forefront, enabling them to get past their depression. It eventually causes it to get stuck there... immobilizing folks as they remember their favorite memory in a loop.
- Happy Place
- I Drank What?: Don Roritor just loves the secret ingredient that Marv put into the coffee. Marv refuses to tell what it is.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Cancer Boy, up for an MTV Music Award.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Parodied with Cancer Boy.
- Lotus-Eater Machine
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Don Roritor is heavily based on Mark McKinney's imitation of producer Lorne Michaels. Also counts as Biting-the-Hand Humor.
- No Control Group: Averted and discussed for laughs, as Brendan Frasier's cameo appearance figures out that he's part of the control.
- Punny Name: Grivo, the sad rocker, has a name that's a combination of rockstar Divo and "grieve"
- Reality Subtext: Kevin McDonald, who plays Dr. Cooper, was going through a divorce and suffering from severe depression while filming. In an interview he stated that it was very hard for him to even get up and on the set in the mornings and at times the director would yell "cut" and he would walk off-set and start crying.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Don and his crew of subordinates, Chris during GLeeMONEX's heyday.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Chris (eventually) and his fellow scientists.
- Tailor-Made Prison: Every Gleemonex-user's Happy Place.
- Terminally Dependent Society
- Toilet Humor: Marv's happiest thought - getting a pal to urinate into Don's coffee. Don's happiest thought? Drinking it.
- Transparent Closet: Wally Terzinsky, who is in denial despite the fact that his family all discusses it behind his back. As his therapist states:
"You... are gay. You — you are gay, you are a homosexual. The opposite of straight, you're gay. I know it, your family knows it. Dogs know it! Everyone seems to know it except you!"
- Wimp Fight: In the second act climax, the wimpy Dr. Cooper and the effete Don Roritor engage in an childish brawl. First, Cooper slaps Roritor's accusatory finger out of his face about twenty times in a row. Finally the pair awkwardly grapple and push each other for a few moments. When they finally break away, they're humorously flustered and gasping for breath, as if they'd been through a war. In a later scene, Roritor wears an outlandish full-arm splint for his injured finger.
- Your Mind Makes It Real