Commemorate The Queen On Your Screen
Where on earth does the time go? Wasn't it just yesterday that we were stuffing ourselves senseless with Christmas cookies and fruitcake? And now, all of a sudden, the May long weekend is upon us! Yes, ladies, it's Victoria Day weekend again — the nationwide, reverential commemoration of the birth of Her Highness, Queen Victoria, and acknowledgement of our monarchic heritage. Which we celebrate through rowdy, drunken nights on the beach at the cottage and lavish firework displays.
But if you're one of those people whose Christmas cookies and fruitcake have decided to ignore the arrival of bikini season and still lurk on your thighs, or if you'd simply prefer to stay indoors all weekend rather than risk getting a premature burn and ruining the rest of your skin-baring summer, fear not. You can still enjoy a long weekend that makes you feel like you're at the Canada-wide party. We've got a lineup of the best Victoria Day movies for you to watch in the safety and quiet of your own home. So crack open a six-pack, break out the barbeque-flavoured chips (since you clearly won't be attending the actual BBQ) and treat yourself to a long weekend TV-viewing marathon.
Victoria Day (2009)
Well isn't that convenient? A film about Victoria Day! This all-Canadian indie flick follows a teenage boy and his friends the week before the Victoria Day long weekend. But don't expect this to be your standard rent-a-cottage-by-the-lake-and-lose-our-virginity long weekend-themed movie. Victoria Day is a little darker than that, following its protagonist, Ben, through a series of cataclysmic coming-of-age events building up to Victoria Day. It's a rare gem of a Canadian indie film (it was apparently picked up for Sundance faster than any other Canadian film in history) with a uniquely told story and some highly impressive performances from some very talented young Canadian actors. If you hail from the Toronto area — particularly suburban Toronto — you'll get your fill of some very familiar locations that you never imagined would make it into a movie.
The Young Victoria (2009)
Looks like 2009 was a big year for Queen Victoria. If you're a traditionalist and into a movie that's a little more in keeping with the true meaning of Victoria Day, The Young Victoria is perfect for you. Starring Emily Blunt, it follows the early life and rule of Queen Victoria and her marriage to Prince Albert. Prepare yourself for a historical drama of the highest degree. Julian Fellowes, who wrote the film, ensured that the script was as historically sound as possible, and attention to every last detail went into the movie so as to represent the story and setting with the greatest accuracy. But that doesn't mean it's boring! Emily Blunt gives a stunning performance as the queen; plus, there's a complicated love story tossed in that makes the whole movie a little sexier. And watching the beautiful Emily do her thing in those ravishing period dresses and those lavish locations, you'll be glad you decided to ditch that lakeside bonfire.
OK, so this high-intensity, action-packed series may have nothing to do with Victoria Day, but it still counts because 24 shares the Victoria Day long weekend's other title: May 2-4 weekend. Plus, there's the bonus of Kiefer Sutherland being a Canadian. Let's see all those drunken cottage dwellers try to top that Victoria Day patriotism! This choice is a bit of a commitment, since the show ran for eight seasons, each season at 24 episodes and each real-time hour-long episode representing one hour of the day. That means you'll never be able to get through the whole series over the course of the weekend (it's not that long a weekend), though those of you who are especially determined to stay indoors may devote three 24-hour-long stretches to three consecutive seasons. For the rest of you, perhaps an explosive potpourri of your favourite episodes from each season is the way to go. Be sure to choose the ones with the most pyrotechnics if you find yourself craving some Victoria Day fireworks.
The Long Weekend (2005)
How do you like that? Another long weekend-appropriate Canadian-made movie! This one stars Chris Klein, Brendan Fehr and Cobie Smulders. The movie follows two brothers — one (Klein) whose life is one big party, the other (Fehr) who is totally high strung — who embark on a crazy long weekend where all hell breaks loose (in a good way, of course), with lots of sexy women and questionable choices. We recommend you reserve this one for when you need some light fare after your binge of 24 intensity. And Chris Klein is always nice to look at.
The Notebook (2004)
Who cares if it doesn't apply to this list at all? There's always time for The Notebook.