DEALING WITH DESTINY
On the last day of term at Sydney University, buddies Blake (Luke Arnold), Lloyd (Clayton Moss), Vinnie (Roger Sciberras) and Ricardo (Steve Maresca) are busy playing pranks on each other. Blake and Lloyd are brilliant physics students who work as a team but only one can with the University scholarship, as Professor Sorvad (Barry Quin) points out. There are distractions with Vinnie's 1969 canary yellow Fiat sportS coupe and Ricardo's newfound lust for the curvaceous Angelica (Gillian Cooper), Lloyd's new mystical tarot reading gf Zara (Catherine Jermanus) and Destiny (Emma Leonard), the gentle and caring nurse from the faculty medical centre. Where will it all lead?
Review by Louise Keller:
Practical jokes, tarot readings, college friendships and romances are the ingredients of this breezy, goodhearted Aussie film that plays a bit like a sit-com, offering easy, undemanding entertainment. The characters are likable enough and the Sydney settings are appealing although the film lacks a proper storyline which means it plays on a superficial level. University pranks and attractive girls per se do not necessarily make for a complete and satisfying film.
After striking shots of Sydney Harbour, the film begins when students are in the throes of playing practical jokes to end the term. Central to the action are Blake (Luke Arnold) and Lloyd (Clayton Moss), buddies who are also partners in their science project. They are working on converting soundwaves into energy with an intricately constructed set up. While Blake is concentrating on the project, Lloyd has a new plaything called Zara (Catherine Jermanus), a striking brunette who sits in an enclosed white circular chair, spouting mystic mumbo jumbo as she reads the tarot cards.
There's a subplot concerning Blake's financial problems and the decisions he faces if he wants to be considered for a scholarship. Does he pursue his dreams or nurture the friendship with his bestie? Blake and Zara are caught in a compromising situation, Destiny (Emma Leonard), the caring nurse is a sweet distraction (I like the fantasy sequence about needle phobia), but the scenario involving the stout, Hitler-esque receptionist at the medical clinic is overdone and ill conceived. I groaned out loud at what is meant to be the pay-off for this character.
There are some mildly amusing moments including the prank when Lloyd is left in a pink thong at the beach, although the scene when he dons a tiger suit and is chased by vicious dogs is simply stupid. Much of the film carries that stupid tag but to be fair, that is what college boys are like. Vinnie (Roger Sciberras) and Ricardo (Steve Maresca) are part of the clan, and there are some gratuitous shots of an amply bosomed Angelica (Gillian Cooper), wearing a skimpy yellow leotard doing cartwheels and suggestive stretches at the gym.
It's made with enthusiasm by director Colm O'Murchu, even though Paul Condoleon's script runs out of puff and the ending sags. Arnold has a good screen presence and more or less carries the film - or at least keeps our interest alive.
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DEALING WITH DESTINY (PG)
CAST: Luke Arnold, Clayton Moss, Roger Sciberras, Steve Maresca, Catherine Jermanus, Barry Quin
PRODUCER: Paul Condoleon
DIRECTOR: Colm O'Murchu
SCRIPT: Paul Condoleon
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Brycen Horne
EDITOR: Nick McDougall
MUSIC: Jason Fernandez
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Paul Finch, Shannon Still
RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Blue Pie
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 1, 2011