The Yellow Woman comes courtesy of the same folks who made Mambo Italiano but all concerned are at pains to stress that the new film is not a Mambo sequel.
The Yellow Woman - a title that is expected to change before the film's release next year - is produced by Oscar winners Denise Robert and Daniel Louis, directed by Emile Gaudreault and based on a screenplay by Steve Galluccio.
The quartet last worked together on Mambo Italiano, the 2003 Montreal-made comedy that was one of the top-grossing films in the history of English-Canadian film.
"The tone is different," Gaudreault said during a chat on the Yellow Woman set last week.
Shooting on the $6-million production wrapped Wednesday and the film will be released sometime next year by Alliance Atlantis.
"The comedy is not as big" as in Mambo, Gaudreault added. "There's more drama. I hope it'll be half and half comedy and drama. In fact, the biggest challenge was finding the right tone."
The film focuses on Clara (Ellen David), a middle-aged woman who is thrown for an emotional loop when her dying mother (Veronique Le Flaguais) tells her she wishes she knew her better.
That leads Clara on a quest to try to get closer to her own daughter Bianca (Caroline Dhavernas). Clara and Bianca, who is 21, live under the same roof but don't really know all that much about each other.
"This movie is about the different sides of our personality that we choose to show to the people who share our lives," said Dhavernas, who is currently on screen in the Quebec flick La Belle bete. "I guess it's out of fear of being judged. That's definitely the case with my character.
"Her sexuality is pretty explosive. She never stays with men. She meets guys over the Internet; she gets a lot of attention from these guys that she barely knows. She gets the affection she doesn't get at home.
"And you know you don't talk to your parents about your sexuality at the dinner table. And the reason you don't talk about it is because you'll be judged by your parents, even though you feel right about it."
Canadian comic actor Colin Mochrie co-stars as Clara's husband, Rick, who is, in Mochrie's words, "not actually as involved in the family as he probably should be."
"He's one of those people that when confrontation rears its head, he goes the other way," the actor said.
Mochrie, who is best known for the ABC improv comedy hit Whose Line Is It Anyway?, was dressed in pyjamas for our interview. That's because he was shooting a bedroom scene with David. "Today is all my bed scenes, which I really enjoy, especially when your call is at 6 in the morning," he said.
"It's nice to spend those first few scenes pretending you're sleeping. This is the closest I'll get to method acting."
Mochrie, who used to be a regular on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and still performs live comedy regularly, said The Yellow Woman has been a distinct change of pace for him. "There will definitely be some comedy (in the film), but it won't be wacky ball-in-the-crotch sort of things, but there are some very funny moments.
"But there's more dramatic content than comedy. This is the first dramatic thing I've done, so I was a little nervous about it. It's tough. I really notice the difference because I'm shooting during the week, and then on weekends, I'm touring with Brad Sherwood from Whose Line and we're doing a live improv show. We show up a half-hour before the show with nothing, we get stuff from the audience and then for two hours we make up stuff and then we leave.
"Here you actually have to work. You have to know your lines and your character. It's a totally different muscle. For me, it's harder. Improv for me is very easy. I know what to expect."
Galluccio said he wrote The Yellow Woman as a play, shortly after his CBC/Radio-Canada series Ciao Bella was cancelled. He sent his friend, Denise Robert, a copy: "She called me and said, 'This is your next movie.' "
Galluccio, who started his career as a playwright, said he thinks he's through with the stage. "You have to decide what you want to write for, and I think cinema is it for me."