Love Serenade (1996)
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However if you grew up having picnics in windswept Rotary parks, riding about dusty streets and choosing between the ABC and one other channel, this is definitely worth a look. Miranda Otto as Dimity is solid enough, but the character of Ken Sherry makes the film - a reptilian, tai chi following, Hawaiian shirt wearing DJ that will make you cringe with laughter throughout.
The title "Love Serenade' may have done some damage to its success as it could to easily have pigeoned holed it as a emotion saturated "chick flick". Ironically, once you know the film the title is perfect.
Essentially the film seems to be about the seductive power of persona fueled by the material mediums associated with it, in this case it's a 40 something DJ and his melodic 70's playlist. Within this entrapment all is normal and comfortable with the victim, but for the observer, in this case us the viewer, there are alarm bells and sirens going off everywhere.
DJ Ken Sherry represents what the mass media machine eventually spits out, burnt out celebrity that have been superseded by a new stock. To unfashionable to be seriously employed and to active to be retired these cast offs gravitate to anywhere that still attaches notions of greatness to there foundering media statue. George Shevtsov slips into the roll of the sleazy veteran DJ like a duck to water. His astonishing performance manages to contrive a personality that can only be described as revoltingly charming. Drawing on a a wealth of DJ streetwise experience "Ken Sherry" has an an opportunistic toy about with the misguided adoration of two local sisters. The resulting personality confrontations and moral diversities therein carries the film to its daring strange then stranger end.
Brilliantly written and directed by Shirley Barrett 'Love Serenade' is a great example of one persons vision being crafted and produced by a competent team that have taken on a singular vision. Its curious "fish" diversions and irratic surreal moments will have a large audience drop off, leaving a faithful few that will love it forever.
It's very realistic for anyone who has lived in a REALLY small town before ...
The Aussie "Bush" never looked so good. My favourite shot - the wedding dress run across those wide, open grain fields.
Clever direction tells you things without the clumsiness of deliberate speech e.g. keep a look out for the wheelchair in the lounge of the sisters' house, it's one of the few clues you get to their former family life.
Wonderful performances, music etc etc. An Aussie Classic.
The two sisters live in such a tragic backwater that when a has-been DJ comes to live in their town, they don't even realize what a loser he is.
They are so desperate for a social life they both go after him, and the results are funny (and the ending unexpected.)
If you don't appreciate the typically dry sense of humor of the Brits and Australians, you probably won't enjoy it, but if you do, it's a bit of a gem.
Two dorky, love-starved sisters live together in a house in the Aussie backwater town of Sunray. Their lives are thrown into a dither when a hotshot radio DJ moves into the house next door. The DJ, named Ken Sherry, has the personality of a lugubrious bloodhound and is thrice divorced, but the sisters are smitten. He's a celebrity!
One of the sisters, Vicki, is a hairdresser with delusions of tabloid grandeur, and the other, Dimity, is a painfully shy waitress in a forlorn Chinese restaurant with the absurdly grand name Emperor's Palace. The restaurant owner is, on his off hours, a proud nudist (Did I mention this movie is weird?).
When you begin watching, you may think you know where this flick is headed. You don't. Things get stranger and stranger and casual American audiences, seeing familiar sitcom elements unfold, will likely be stunned by the bizarre directions the movie takes.
For those looking for "something else," I cannot recommend this highly enough. Oh, and a terrific Barry White soundtrack.