In the press notes for Three Night Stand,
opening today (January 25) at the Rio Theatre, actor Sam Huntington
observes that “it’s always a bit weird when you have to bone someone on
For her own part, Meaghan Rath—Huntington’s co-star in the
witty Anglo-Quebec production—was given an even weirder assignment. She
had to bone Huntington in front writer-director Pat Kiely, who happens
to be her boyfriend.
“Well, Pat and I have quite a sick relationship, so I think he got off on it a little,” Rath tells the Straight,
maybe not totally seriously. “I mean, it is a very strange thing when
your boyfriend comes up to you and says, ‘You guys are gonna have to
It sounds like Kiely was bent on pushing his
cast well out of their comfort zones in a film designed to provoke its
audience almost as much.
As Sue and Carl, Rath and Huntington play
a couple who retreat to a lodge in the Laurentians in order to fire up a
sagging marriage. That big boning sequence ends in a comically painful
misfire, in case you’re wondering, while matters are complicated, to say
the least, when Carl discovers that a pined-for ex (Entourage’s Emmanuelle Chriqui) is now running the place.
In Rath’s admirably direct words: “He’s brought me to this lodge that they used as their fuck den.”
film’s discomfiting comedy comes from the acutely observed lies and
platitudes coming from Carl. Sue, meanwhile, busies herself doing the
ugly math. It’s a beautifully shot movie, but Kiely’s camera is pitiless
in capturing—at length—the internal politics of a relationship in major
“I remember Sam going into the lodge at one point and
saying, ‘I’m having a panic attack right now,’” Rath recalls, with a
laugh. “Because Pat kept pushing us more, and more, and more, and more,
and more, and it was so emotionally intense. I never experienced
anything like that in my life. I wanted to kill him. I couldn’t believe
he was doing this to me.”
It was also, she adds, the kind of work the 10-year acting veteran has “wanted to do for years.”
Kiely deserves further credit for refusing to cheat his audience with a false ending, situating Three Night Stand—which Rath says was influenced in part by Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives and David O. Russell’s great Flirting with Disaster—inside the growing sub-genre of the anti-romantic comedy.
like to feel romantic and have a happy ending,” Rath says, “but the
reality is that it doesn’t always turn out that way. So that’s what I’m
attracted to, that’s what Pat’s attracted to, and there’s almost a
comfort in the realism that we can relate to because that’s what real
Rath also concedes that movies like Three Night Stand can level a stealth hit on the viewer's emotional innerscape. Damage might ensue.
wanted to elicit a reaction from the viewer, so whether you like it or
you don’t, or if you have a strong reaction to it, that’s really what we
were going for. And I think that’s sort of what art is. Whether it’s
making people happy, or scaring them, or upsetting them, it doesn’t
really matter. It’s creating a reaction,” she says. “I’ve found that our
film is actually quite polarizing, and that’s what we wanted.”
For those who are possibly just skimming this article: “polarizing” is not another word for “boning”.
A Q&A with Meaghan Rath and Pat Kiely will follow the premiere of Three Night Stand at the Rio Theatre, on Saturday (January 25) at 7 p.m.