Struggling pianist Cat Lytton (Krista Bridges) has been unhappily married for quite some time to workaholic hotshot food and wine writer Freddy Fiore (Enrico Colantoni). She has been cheating on Freddy repeatedly with his ruggedly handsome boss, Richard (David Cubitt). When Freddy offers Cat a chance to tag along with him on an assignment to Niagara’s wine country, she’s shocked to find that Richard and his much younger, ex-stripper girlfriend (Brooke Palsson) will be joining them for the duration of what was supposed to be a quiet weekend to rekindle their rocky domestic partnership.

Director Sergio Navarretta and writer Alessandra Piccione’s The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship screens only once at this year’s ICFF as a “sneak peek.” Hopefully this means that the pedestrian direction, overlong montages, choppy editing, and muddy sound design are all works in progress. But even if all that gets fixed, there’s positively no salvaging underdeveloped characters that never once sound like actual flesh and blood human beings.

Colantoni and Palsson bring a considerable amount of charm to roles that do them no favours, and Tony Nappo and Kristina Nicoll liven things up as a superfluous couple on the trip looking to engage in polyamory, but every situation these people find themselves in is trite, contrived, uninteresting, and unbelievable. Not a single note rings true. It’s like a relatively unsexy Harlequin novel. It aims admirably for a style and tone akin to James and Albert Brooks, but misses wildly.