NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN
Jonah (Ryan Kwanten) is a freewheeling guy in his 20s, sharing an inner suburb house with his friends Gus (Ryan Corr) and Stevie (Sarah Snook). Their weekly parties are becoming legend, and that's about all Jonah cares about. But when a friendly party girl discovers he has a lump on his left testicle, Jonah gets the shock diagnosis that it's cancer. But no biggie, it is easily cured: sni snip. Problem is that afterwards his prospects of fatherhood are nil. Postponing the op for as long as possible, Jonah has less than four weeks to find a woman who'll have his baby. He tries a few of his exes including Ava (Bojana Novakovic) and Becky (Kathryn Beck) and - with help from Gus and Stevie - even some strangers, but fatherhood remains elusive.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This is the genre that has made Judd Apatow a 'brand' filmmaker, a contemporary love story with hard edges and patches of vulgar, lowbrow fun. The comparison is meant as a compliment, because Apatow has nurtured a commercially viable market for his films - something Australian filmmakers should strive for - at least occasionally. It's not the only genre, nor is genre the only type of film to make - but it works for the industry to have a few box office hits. This could be one of them.
The story hangs on Jonah (Ryan Kwanten) facing sudden infertility, which prompts him to seek a womb-an. Almost any woman will do.
Reluctant at first, I was eventually won over by the screenplay. My reluctance came from the hurdle of believing that Jonah would so instantly switch from hedonistic party animal to desperate wannabe dad. It took much of the film to convince me - not necessarily to totally believe that premise, but to buy into the film's story and characters.
And as much as Kwanten delivers a credible Jonah, the emotional complexity and intricacy of the story comes from Sarah Snook as good friend Stevie. Her expressive eyes (beautifully lit by cinematographer Lachlan Milne), set in a wonderfully sensitive face, gives us all the signals that we yearn for as the story twists and turns in unpredictable byways.
The themes of parenting are serious and while the stakes are not huge, they are universal. These elements help ground the film, which balances the drama with the fun.
Ryan Corr is terrific as the third housemate with party in his heart, and Lewis Fitz-Gerald is authoritative and memorable as Dr McKenzie, bearing the bad news and performing the surgery.
Excellent support work from Bojana Novakovic as the on-off girlfriend who Jonah targets as his first choice, and from a vivacious Kathryn Beck as Becky the Stalker, as Jonah's friends dub her.
The impressive screenplay and the fine performances combine with Peter Templeman's confident direction for a satisfying result.
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NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN (MA15+)
CAST: Ryan Kwanten, Sarah Snook, Ryan Corr, Bojana Novakovic, Alice Parkinson, Daniel Henshall, Clare Bowen, Kathryn Beck
PRODUCER: Jodi Matterson
DIRECTOR: Peter Templeman
SCRIPT: Michael Lucas
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Lachlan Milne
EDITOR: Matthew Walker
MUSIC: Matteo Zingales
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Elizabeth Mary Moore
RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Icon
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 12, 2012
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.