The performances are uniformly good - especially Huard as Montreal's king of disco, whose fall is fast and painful. He's on top of the world in 1976, but by 1977 he feels trapped as the public face of a musical genre he despises. As his drug and alcohol problem gets worse, he loses everything. A bit part in a sitcom, which requires him to wear a humiliating hot dog costume, is not rock bottom for Bastien. Huard seems to age twenty years between the scenes set in 1976 and those set in 1978 (He also moves effortlessly between French and English, often several times in the same scene).
Meanwhile, as the PQ takes power and threatens a referendum on separation from Canada (and forces the nightclub to become Le Starlight), other characters start planning their exit to Toronto and New York City. It's kind of understandable why Quebec's French-speaking majority turned to the nationalists - early on, the (francophone) owner of the Starlight makes it clear that the club plays only English music - but cosmopolitan, bilingual Montreal paid a heavy price.
If the entire film were as good as its first half, Funkytown would merit comparison with Boogie Nights. The third act, unfortunately, is more like 54. Some of the plot developments - a Milli Vanilli-style scam involving a new singing star, a foot chase through Montreal, a gay-bashing gone wrong, and a murder - belong in a soap opera, not what had been a believable portrait of a fascinating place and time. The movie's spell is broken by the time we reach 1980.
That's too bad, because some of these plot threads - especially the murder - could have been easily cut from the film. Funkytown is worth watching for its portrayal of late-seventies Montreal, but ultimately it's a flawed film that could have been something truly special.