Published May 21, 2019Legend has it that Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida (of Our Lady Peace) first met at a Pearl Jam concert in 1996. The two Canadian musicians married just a few years later, and have been writing, producing and touring together ever since. Though both artists began their careers separately, and saw incredible success on their own, their union became a cultural phenomenon in and of itself, and they became known as one of Canada's favourite couples.
I'm Going to Break Your Heart takes places largely in the French town of St. Pierre and Miquelon, where Maida and Kreviazuk retreated in January of 2017 to write their first full length album together, under the moniker Moon vs. Sun. The film chronicles the writing process and reveals the challenges the two had been experiencing in their marriage. The trip culminated in an 11-track album by the same name that was released on March 1. The LP contains what the couple consider to be some of their best work.
In many ways, the crux of the film occurs in the conflicts the couple encounter when writing the title track of the album. Some of their most biting words are exchanged while they negotiate the inclusion of a pre-chorus into the song. While there are moments when the film resorts to the deployment of songwriting as a cheap metaphor for the importance of compromise within a marriage, it ultimately succeeds in depicting a relationship inextricably tied to artistry, such that it becomes a way to communicate those emotions that mere conversation fails to properly express.
Some of the most poignant scenes in the film find Kreviazuk and Maida holed up in their tiny hotel room, surrounded by loose leaves of scribbled-on paper and empty wine glasses, deep in the throes of their writing. These scenes successfully depict both the frustration and beauty of collaborative creative work, further emphasized by the heightened stakes that their tumultuous marriage brings to the process.
For the most part, I'm Going to Break Your Heart is nothing more than the simple story of a couple overcoming a difficult moment in their relationship. Underscored by a lovely soundtrack and set against the backdrop of an undeniably gorgeous French countryside, the film relies heavily on sentimentality and offers precious little in the way of structure or storyline. Still, it offers a touching look into a complicated but loving marriage dynamic, and pays homage to two primary musicians.