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Not Suitable for Children - Film Review

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by Jacqui Schneider (subscribe)
I'm a QBI (Queenslander born interstate) and like to write about things that inspire me in my adopted hometown. Living by choice in the inner southside of Brisbane.
Published September 3rd 2012
Indulgent party boy finds true love
Party-boy Jonah, played by Ryan Kwanten (of True Blood fame), is cruising through his twenties sans responsibility, job or any plan much past next week's mega party in his inner Sydney terrace share house. All this is set to change very quickly when his latest one-night stand discovers a strange lump, and next thing Jonah is diagnosed with testicular cancer. Not only that, turns out he is one of the few people whose sperm can't survive the freezing process.

Yikes! Suddenly the focus of Jonah's indulgent life becomes the brief window of fertility until his operation and treatment, and we are taken on his increasingly desperate 4-week journey trying to find someone to be the mother of his child.
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Not Suitable for Children is a very funny and well-written film from director Peter Templeman and script writer Michael Lucas, with some great characters and witty one-liners many of them delivered by the ever-sensible and practical house-mate, Stevie, played by Sarah Snook who took the character of Stevie and made her absolutely shine in a stand-out performance. I suspect we will be seeing a lot more of Sarah Snook. Let's hope that like Ryan Kwanten, when she makes it in Hollywood she keeps her connection to the Australian film scene.

The party scenes will bring back memories for those whose share house days are behind them, especially if you lived in Sydney. The inner city clash of youth partying to loud music and spilling out onto the streets while older neighbours complain and call the cops, the ubiquitous kegs of beer, and blazing party fires in the backyard are all completely authentic with a distinctly Australian urban grunge style. Check out the trailer

The photography was excellent and visually the film can hold its own with anything Hollywood or Europe produces, while remaining quite recognisably Australian. The music was outstanding too, if not a little too noticeable in places, as though it was constantly trying to push itself into the foreground and make itself the star of the film. But that's a minor detail and possibly a generational thing. I loved the soundtrack which is available through Sony Music, and I suspect it will be popular, with many Australian musicians featured.

The film sweeps the viewer along on likeable rogue Jonah's bumbling journey of awakening and growing up, as those moments of crisis have a way of bringing about. We all know (or knew) a "Jonah" and while we don't feel sorry for him at first, it's touching to see his awkward attempts to find a "womb donor" foiled at every turn, producing some very funny and also cringe-worthy moments.

I recommend this film. It's a hoot, and very entertaining. Go for the laughs if nothing else. What's more, I really like to see Australian films that embrace our larrikin culture, tell it like it is warts and all, and make the most of our uniquely irreverent way of approaching all kinds of situations.

David and Margaret each gave it four stars, so take note, people. (I know I do!)

Not Suitable for Children screened on the opening night of the Sydney Film Festival in July and is currently screening around the country at Village Cinemas, Palace Cinemas, the Schonell Theatre in Brisbane, and selected others nationally. Check out local screening times.
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Why? Good old romantic comedy Australian-style
Where: At a cinema near you
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