When I caught this Aussie telemovie on Pay-TV, unfortunately renamed OPEN CUT, I was surprised not to have heard of it before. The cast is excellent and the director has a distinguished background, so I wondered why the movie had such a low profile. I was even more surprised by this as I watched it, because the first half of the movie is a very charming romantic comedy with great performances by Matt Day and Nadine Garner. The concept of a big city girl being won over by the sense of community in a small country town, and the honest charm of a country boy, is hardly an original one, but it is very well realised in this movie - although it is a shame, given the Jim Carrey movie, that the cinema which plays an important part in the plot is called THE MAJESTIC.
But then the whole movie falls apart in the second half. Seeming not to trust the delightful simplicity of the story, the film-makers take the film into a completely unbelievable melodramatic direction. The criminal act committed is so extreme, that the small motivation for it seems ridiculously out of proportion, despite the best efforts of that fine actor Alex Dimitriades. And then things just get sillier, and more unpleasant, until the charm of the first half is completely destroyed. What a shame - because this could have been a genuine Aussie classic. What remains in my mind though is the excellent performance of Matt Day, whose emotionally true work almost makes the silly second half believable.
But who renamed this OPEN CUT? The original title was bad enough, but the new one, which has ugly sexual connotations (especially in a movie involving a rape), is just plain tacky.
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