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I love the world of this film - grungy, but not too grungy, cosy, old world, inner city Australia - and I wish I'd been a part of it. Maybe that's clouding my judgment, but I loved the film, too.
There's more going for the film than just atmosphere. Anthony O'Connor has given at least one of his characters a good helping of sharp lines. If I have a criticism it's that he hasn't always been able to weave them together into flowing dialogue, but that's less of a problem than it sounds. The most prominent of the three central characters, Dan, comes to a realisation at the end, which I paraphrase somewhat: `I've just discovered that I'm a whinger. I'm not clever, I'm not witty, I don't make penetrating social observations; I just whinge.' And yes, there's a lot of truth in this - but of course it would be fatal to the movie it were COMPLETELY true, and it isn't. One thing, though: maybe I'm just demonstrating my naïvety by saying this, but about the clichéd "locker room" conversation, in which two guys spontaneously (a) brag, (b) moan or (c) alternately brag AND moan about their sex lives to one another - I don't believe such conversations really take place. I think some writer in Hollywood invented them.
The characters are good enough to make the film touching as well as funny, and even the peripheral character of May - the lovely Goth, played by Abi Tucker - is hard to forget (she really is charming). I rather wish the last minute or so had been deleted from the final cut - I think it cheapens the film - but it's one of those cases where the precise choice of a final chord doesn't matter very much; and no doubt SOME brief scene with Dan and May was required.
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