'Suze' movie: Michaela Watkins, Sara Waisglass are our new favourite mother-daughter duo

"I just think she is one of the most exceptional humans I've ever met," Waisglass said about her costar

While Michaela Watkins and Julia Louis-Dreyfus were a perfect pairing as sisters in You Hurt My Feelings, we feel similarly about the mother-daughter pairing of Watkins and Sara Waisglass in the new film Suze (now in theatres).

Suze release date: Feb. 23
Cast: Michaela Watkins, Charlie Gillespie, Sara Waisglass, Aaron Ashmore
Writers/directors: Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart
Runtime: 93 minutes

Watkins plays the title character, a divorced mom who's perimenopausal and is about to send her only child, her daughter Brooke (Waisglass), to university. While Suze thought Brooke was staying close to home, Brooke abruptly breaks the news to her mom (in front of her dad and the woman he cheated on her with) that she's moving to Montreal to attend McGill University.

While trying to manage those feeling, Suze also has to deal with Brooke's boyfriend Gage (Charlie Gillespie), who she doesn't particularly like, but he is madly in love with Brooke and distraught about her leaving.

But when Gage ends up having to stay with Suze for a few weeks, the two establish an unexpected bond, which also reveals exactly how much they both relied on Brooke for emotional support.

Sara Waisglass as Brooke in
Sara Waisglass as Brooke in "Suze" (levelFILM)

Sara Waisglass proves she can play a 'mean' character

Brooke isn't the nicest person, to put it simply, especially to her mom. Waisglass perfectly embodies that bratty teenager that a lot of will recognize from our real lives, but she's also able to add a layer of complexity to the character. Yes Brooke is rude, but Suze and Gage are also putting a lot of pressure on her for their own happiness.

For Waisglass, she shared that she's been told several times that she "can't play mean" and that she "can't play anything other than the sweet girl next door," which is very much not Brooke, but made the character particularly interesting for her to take on.

"My obsession with Brooke was very organic in that it grew every day that I worked," Waisglass told Yahoo Canada.

"Also Dane [Clark] and Linsey [Stewart], the writers and directors, were so incredible. They sat me down and they were like, 'We know we've written Brooke as a typical, annoying b-tchy daughter, but we'd really like for her to be more than that. We had these in-depth discussions about her and why she is the way she is and I feel like it really opened my eyes, and it just felt like a very layered character that I have not gotten to play."

The actor also revealed that Brooke is a character that help her reflect on her own instinct to be a people pleaser.

"It's so interesting that characters come into my life exactly when I need them, and when I was shooting Suze I was very much thinking about people pleasing and how that's played a role in my life, and what would it be like if I wasn't a people pleaser and I just put myself first," Waisglass said.

"So when I was playing Brooke and I saw that she is someone who these two people are obsessed with and really, frankly, ... using her for their happiness, I think that's a lot of pressure to put on a 17-year-old girl. I kind of respect the fact that Brooke's like, 'No. Bye.'... She's not people pleasing. She's not putting her mom's happiness before her own. She's saying, this is what I need. And honestly, in the end, it's what Suze needs as well, and Gage."

Michaela Watkins in
Michaela Watkins in "Suze" (levelFILM)

'I can grow up and grow into half the actor she is, I will consider myself very, very lucky'

While much of the film is focused on the evolution relationship between Suze and Gage, an absolute highlight is Waisglass and Watkins together.

Their energy when they share the screen is infectious, it does feel like they were made to play mother-daughter, and it did in fact feel reminiscent of Nicole Holofcener's You Hurt My Feelings. Waisglass' acting definitely feels akin to Louis-Dreyfus. If time travel was possible, we'd love to see Waisglass in Seinfeld.

"I love Michaela, like point blank," Waisglass said about her costar. "I just think she is one of the most exceptional humans I've ever met, and if I can grow up and grow into half the actor she is, I will consider myself very, very lucky."

"I had been a fan of Michaela for a really long time. In fact, when I was really little she was on SNL for a while and there was a skit that she did that I actually loved so much that I impersonated it, and we filmed it for my bat mitzvah video. ... So I've just really loved her since forever."

In fact, Waisglass shared that one of her first days on set involved a scene where Brooke watches Suze call out her daughter's bad behaviour, while the perimenopause is making her feel so warm she has to start taking her clothes off.

"Thank God I didn't break because I would hate to break and make her have to do it again and again and again," Waisglass said. "We really popped into it and started with the hardest stuff, for me at least."

Michaela Watkins as Suze and Charlie Gillespie as Gage in
Michaela Watkins as Suze and Charlie Gillespie as Gage in "Suze" (levelFILM)

Exploring loneliness

But at the heart of Suze is this particularly affecting exploration of loneliness and the complexity of feeling a sense of isolation, that's tackled in a way that feels so heartfelt, but executed with such great humour.

"[Suze] does not reach out, she does not tell anyone and it isn't until she actually feels that companionship with Gage that she starts to realize how lonely she's been, and how toxic her relationship with her daughter really is," Waisglass said. "Then for Gage, ... from his band and dating Brooke I'm assuming that he's this very popular guy in school and that everyone knows him, and so for him to still feel lonely with everyone around, I think is a really important thing to touch on as well."

"They had someone who visually looks lonely and someone who no one would expect would be lonely, and just bringing those two energies together and kind of showing that companionship and love can come from anywhere, and not just romantic love or sibling love, or family love. ... I think that's a really beautiful message to talk about today."