Movie Review, Top End Wedding

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There’s a lot to love in this Australian romantic comedy. It’s funny, heartwarming, entertaining and has magnificent scenery, including locations in Darwin, Katherine Gorge, Tiwi Islands and Kakadu.

Lauren (Miranda Tapsell) and her fiancé (Gwilym Lee) leave their life in Adelaide to fly to Darwin to get married, but upon arriving discover that Lauren’s mother Daffy (Ursula Yovich) has left the family with no explanation. Lauren’s father (Huw Higginson) is heartbroken, preferring to lock himself away in the pantry, while listening to sad songs, and brings us many great moments.

This film is about families–building them, grieving them, celebrating them, mending them. The Australian film and television industry is relatively small and with lean budgets, and I have always felt this works in our favour because when we make a production we generally do them well, with strong scripts and strong acting, and this one is no exception.

Top End Wedding is total joy.

This film is rated M but it could easily have been rated PG, in my opinion. There’s no sex, no violence and the few instances of the f-word are covered over by external noise.

Verdict:  Go see it!

 

Movie review: ‘Home Again’

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I love Reese Witherspoon, so that was all I needed for me to go and see this movie, plus the trailer promised an experience that was light, fun and funny.

The story:Alice (Witherspoon) is turning forty and has just returned home to her father’s house after separating from her husband, bringing her two girls from New York to Los Angeles, looking for a fresh start. She meets three young men in their early twenties who are struggling to make it in the film industry and they all go home to her house for the night. They are supposed to leave the next day, but once Alice’s mother (Candice Bergen) discovers the men are big fans of her ex-husband (an Oscar-winning film maker, and Alice’s father), she convinces everyone that the young men must stay in the guest house till they get on their feet. Romantic comedy should ensue.

My verdict: I really wanted to love this film. As I said, Reese Witherspoon is wonderful, I love the fact that we have a forty-year-old protagonist, it has a ‘glossy’ magazine style to the visuals, and promised to be a great break from reality.

But here is my essential problem with this film: Alice has two young daughters under ten (I’m guessing). What mother brings home three strange men and allows them to stay at her house, frequently unsupervised, trusting them with her two little girls, and even accepts them getting involved, by taking the kids to school and other events?

I just could not get past the premise of this film. I couldn’t totally relax into the story, constantly wondering if we were going to be let down by one of these men. The trust just wasn’t there. Also, the comedy factor just wasn’t there. Amusing, yes. Laugh out loud, no.

3.5 stars for me.