Synopsis by Mark Deming
Two men in their mid-twenties chase their dreams to the big city with tragic results in this acclaimed piece of low-key neorealism from Canada. Joey (Paul Bradley) and Peter (Doug McGrath) are best friends from a small town in Nova Scotia. With jobs scarce and prospects slim at home, Joey and Peter decide to pack up their meager belongings and head west to Toronto, where they're convinced better luck awaits them. Joey's uncle refuses to take in the travelers, and Peter's friends turn out to be short on job leads, but after a few rough nights, Joey, a practical sort, lands a job loading cases in a ginger ale bottling plant. Peter has aspirations toward better things, but it quickly becomes obvious he lacks the education or the temperament for office work, and before long he's hefting cases alongside Joey. For a while, the guys get along on their 80 dollars a week, and Joey finds a girlfriend in Betty (Jayne Eastwood), a pretty but tough-talking waitress. Peter has his eyes on Nicole (Nicole Morin), a beautiful woman who works in the plant's office, but after he gathers up the courage to take her out on the town, Nicole rejects his advances and he's left alone and humiliated. When Joey learns that Betty is pregnant, the two marry, but within a few weeks, both Joey and Peter are laid off, thanks to a seasonal slowdown, and their new lives begin to slip through their fingers. Shot in 16 mm on a shoestring budget, Goin' Down the Road became an unexpected critical success in both Canada and the United States and was named the best English-language Canadian feature of the century by the Toronto-based newsweekly MacLean's.
blue-collar, friendship, pregnancy, waiter