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Josh Jarman (Marcus Graham) is a conservative and shy struggling Melbourne playwright sharing a flat with Russ (Damien Richardson), a struggling actor, next door to cellist Maxine (Daniela Farinacci). When high profile producer Stan Billows (Kim Gyngell) agrees to produce his latest play - so long as he keeps dating Billows' feisty daughter Sasha (Kestie Morassi) and keeps her out of harm's way. But when Billows brings in director Alex Menglet (Sebastian Thoman) to sex up the play for commercial audiences, Josh is faced with a conflict of conscience. Meanwhile, Russ is taking drastic steps to feed his gambling habit, and Maxine is having orgasms while playing Brahms Hungarian Dance No 5.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The select group who will most likely get the biggest laugh out of Josh Jarman are theatre producers, when they see the luxurious mansion, complete with stately maid, in which the Melbourne producer Stan Billows (Kim Gyngell) lives. Maybe if the setting were New York or London ... But pushing real life to such grandiose limits is part of many romantic comedies, and this one adheres to formula pretty well.

The faintly moral story of an artist faced with commercial sell-out versus integrity is buried in the deferred romance between Josh and Maxine, while the active romance between Josh and Sasha takes centre stage. The problem for audiences is that Josh and Sasha are a well matched pair of opposites, and both Marcus Graham and Kestie Morassi deliver knock out performances. We are left reluctant to root for the Josh-Maxine pairing, even though Daniela Farinacci is also outstanding in what is a demanding role.

But while all the performances are excellent, the film doesn't quite hit the right tone. Too much of the comedy is broad, heavy handed and verging on silly. This works against both the comedy and the romance. The central idea is serious enough for it to be the basis of good comedy, and it doesn't need the sort of lily gilding Pip Mushin has applied.

Full of promise and boasting several outstanding scenes, Josh Jarman just misses the mark, but it's not a bad film.

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(Aust, 2005)

CAST: Marcus Graham, Daniela Farinacci, Damien Richardson, Kestie Morassi, Kim Gyngell, Chelsea Gibb, Suzy Cato, Alex Menglet, John Cousins

PRODUCER: Pip Mushin, Eva Orner

DIRECTOR: Pip Mushin

SCRIPT: Pip Mushin


EDITOR: Uri Mizrahi

MUSIC: Brett Rosenberg

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ben Morieson, Carrie Kennedy

RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Instinct Entertainment

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 10, 2005

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