Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
So, how would you react if you were a young bloke-around-town, partying hard and had just been told your testicles were cancer-ridden and to be removed in 3 weeks? While you might expect pathos and tragedy, this is not at all what you get from award-winning director and co-writer Peter Templeton's bittersweet and very funny new romantic comedy, Not Suitable for Children.
Finding out that not only is he to lose his testicles in a very short space of time, Jonah's double-whammy is that he will also lose his fertility. The transition from party-animal to wanna-be dad is rapid and desperate, as Jonah bumbles along to find a potential womb for his potential child, ably abetted by his housemates in some increasingly cringe-worthy comic moments. If you were a fan of The Secret Life of Us, enjoy Packed to the Rafters or Offspring, or like indie comedies like Juno or Little Miss Sunshine, you are going to get a kick out this movie. Ryan Kwantan, who plays Jonah, is as unlike his character in True Blood as is possible to be – he is vulnerable and endearing as well as a bit clueless, and you just want to wrap him up in a doona and tell him it is going to be OK.
Spaced out entrepreneurial flatmate Gus (played by rising star, Ryan Corr), who with Jonah, is aiming to extend his adolescence forever by making a viable living out of partying hard, has some scene stealing comic moments - watching his face think and make connections is a real joy. Emma Stone lookalike Sarah Snooks, as fellow flatmate, Stevie, is very real with a watchfulness about her which draws you in – her awkward efforts to facilitate Jonah's desire to become an instant father are a hoot and it's delightful to watch the way her character develops through the film.
There is a fairly explicit and generous use of drugs, alcohol and plenty of story-specific sex which means that the movie lives up to its title. There is also a phenomenal soundtrack which will give you flashbacks to your early partying twenties, or have you right in the moment, depending on your age. I loved this movie - I came out of it feeling good about the world. It sits well amidst other quirky and slightly unpredictable Australian and indie offerings, and deserves to do well at the box office.
Not Suitable for Children makes its world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival and will be screening in select cinemas nationally from 12 July 2012.