Real Time (film)

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Real Time
Poster of Real Time (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Randall Cole
Produced by Paula Devonshire
Ari Lantos
Robert Lantos
Tyler Levine
Brian Mosoff
Julia Rosenberg
Pete Soltesz
Written by Randall Cole
Starring Randy Quaid
Jay Baruchel
Music by Jim Guthrie
Cinematography Rudolf Blahacek
Edited by Michael Pacek
Gareth C. Scales
APB Pictures
Devonshire Productions
January Films
Serendipity Point Films
Distributed by Maximum Film Distribution (Canada)
Image Entertainment (United States)
Release date
  • January 18, 2008 (2008-01-18)
Running time
75 minutes
Country Canada
Language English

Real Time is a 2008 comedy drama which premiered on 18 January 2008 at the Slamdance Film Festival.[1] True to its title, the film's story unfolds in real time.[2]


In Hamilton, Ontario, compulsive gambler Andy (Jay Baruchel) owes money to the wrong people; he perpetually blames his misfortune on "bad luck" and being "cursed". After failing to catch a cab to get to a horse race track, Andy is approached by a car driven by Reuban (Randy Quaid), a Kiwi contract killer; he orders Andy to enter the vehicle. Andy complies, attempting to explain himself, until he notices that the car's back seat holds a crate containing Andy's cat, Cleo. When Andy attempts to leave with Cleo, Reuban locks the car doors. Andy vehemently protests, but Reuban repeatedly beats him over the head with his handgun until Andy stops talking. Reuban informs Andy that he owes his debtees C$68,000 and they are angry that Andy has been bragging about not paying up; they want him dead. Reuban gives Andy one hour to "make peace".

After insisting that he be allowed to exit the vehicle to urinate, Andy attempts to escape, but slips on a patch of ice and is wrangled back into the car by Reuban. Andy then asks Reuban to take them to the corner of a prostitute (Lucy Filippone) whom he claims looks like Rosie Perez. Upon arriving, the two find that she looks nothing like Andy remembered, so they instead go to visit Andy's grandmother (Jayne Eastwood). On the way, they stop at Jollop's Chicken, a fast food restaurant that Andy worked at in high school. While ordering food for his grandma, Andy banters with the English language-challenged cashier (Ella Chan) and berates his former boss, the store manager (Jeff Pustil).

Upon arriving at his grandma's house, Andy breaks down and apologizes to his bewildered, but compassionate grandma for breaking her heart with bad behavior. Andy uses the pretense of visiting with one of her cats to retreat upstairs, where he jumps out of a window in another escape attempt. Injuring his leg in the fall, Andy limps away from Reuban, who catches him and shoots him in the leg. They return to the car as Andy's grandma watches from her front window.

On the road again, Reuban gives Andy an unmarked pill for his pain. Minutes remain until the deadline, so Reuban takes Andy to a lightly-forested clearing overlooking Hamilton. Andy becomes desperate, begging Reuban to let him live; Reuban staunchly refuses. After forcing Andy to turn away and drop to his knees, Reuban aims his gun at the back of Andy's head. Reuban tells Andy that his "bad luck" isn't luck, but the result of "stupid" choices. He goes on to define bad luck as learning that a perceived ulcer is actually a tumor, then pulls the trigger.

Andy opens his eyes to find that Reuban has committed suicide. Examining the body, Andy finds an envelope marked with his name. He retreats to the driver's seat of Reuban's car and opens the envelope. Inside is a cheque also in his name for $68,000, on the back of which is written "You're a lucky son of a bitch, Andy!". Andy stares pensively into the distance.


Soundtrack listing[edit]



Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
29th Genie Awards Best Original Screenplay Randall Cole Nominated
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards 2008 Best Supporting Actress in a Canadian Film Jayne Eastwood [3]
Best Supporting Actor in a Canadian Film Randy Quaid Won [4]

Involvement in Quaid controversy[edit]

Randy Quaid, flanked by wife Evi, formally accepted his Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award on February 23, 2011, over two years after the win was announced in January 2009.[5] Of receiving the award, Quaid was quoted as saying "Having worked in Canada continuously over the years from The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz to Brokeback Mountain to Real Time, it was a natural choice for us to come here for some R&R and to finally accept an award I had been given for Real Time."[6]

The Quaids had been living in Canada for months by this point, having fled the U.S. to, presumably, escape felony vandalism charges filed against them in 2010. In their defense, the Quaids claimed that they were being targeted by the "Hollywood Star Whackers", a group of assassins that supposedly killed celebrities such as David Carradine and Heath Ledger.[7]


  1. ^ Joe Leydon (January 26, 2008). "Review: 'Real Time'". Variety. 
  2. ^ Review: 'Real Time'
  3. ^ "Vancouver Film Critics Circle — the winners!". Patheos. January 12, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ "9th Annual Award Winners". Vancouver Film Critics Circle. January 12, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Randy Quaid to Receive Vancouver Critics' Award". The Hollywood Reporter. February 23, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Evi Quaid sponsoring Randy to stay in Canada". CTV News. February 23, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Randy Quaid and His Wife, Evi, Were Caught Trying to Cross the U.S. Border into Vermont". Vanity Fair. October 10, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 

External links[edit]