Australia, 1975. The beach suburb of Nobbys Beach is a place that revolves around surf mats, baby oil, boxed wine and the new miracle of Kentucky Fried Chicken. 14 year-old Jeff tries to find his feet in a world changing faster than his hormones, and deal with his crush on shy and sensitive girl-next-door Melly. When the beach town suddenly hits the spotlight after the body of a 200-ton whale is washed ashore, Jeff and Melly think it's the biggest thing that ever happened in their lives. Meanwhile, their eccentric parents are catching up with the sexual revolution that has also washed up on Australia's beaches. And just like the decaying whale, it's all about to go spectacularly wrong.
As much as this movie looked like a solid offering filled with laughs and an all star cast it ultimately ends up a complete mess of story lines and underdeveloped characters.
It's filled with needless cutbacks that deliver nothing and scenes that should have been left on the cutting room floor. A lot of scenes I just wondered whether the director was doing favours for mates who wanted a small speaking role to camera.
While non linear story arcs are fantastic this one wasn't executed well and cut back and forth so many times whatever the story line is meant to be is not evident. What was the main plot line? Was it the whale, the swinging session, the young girl who would seem to be the focus of much of the movie but of whom we learn almost nothing, or the childhood movie that is apparently being made throughout the film? None of these otherwise acceptable plot lines went anywhere.
The parents are all hideous people except maybe Jeremy Sims' character but again there's no real purpose or explanation to any of their motivations. Kylie is wasted in her role of a blubbering mess that completely unexplored. The teenage girl is written off as he street 'bike' and the other children engage in bratty behaviour with a side of animal cruelty.
I was genuinely excited to see Julian McMahon in an Australian movie and really thought this would be an absolute treat but it just failed miserably. I gave it 4 stars but even that's probably too generous.
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