Australian romantic comedies don't come along often, and when they do they're met with either bad reviews (Big Mamma's Boy
) or diminishing box-office returns (Any Questions for Ben?
Not Suitable for Children
deserves to buck both trends. It's smarter, warmer and funnier than most of the shiny, soulless Hollywood rom-coms of recent years, and best of all, it's as much a guy flick as it is a chick flick.
Jonah (True Blood
and ex-Home and Away
star Ryan Kwanten
) is a twentysomething party boy living the life in a Sydney share house with best friends Gus (Packed to the Rafters
' Ryan Corr
) and Stevie (Spirited
's Sarah Snook
All that changes when he learns he has testicular cancer and will be infertile if he doesn't go forth and multiply in the space of a few weeks. So begins Jonah's personal quest to become a father, whether that be with his ex-girlfriend Ava (Bojana Novakovic
), a lesbian couple, or perhaps someone else right under his nose.
First-time director Peter Templeman
, Oscar-nominated for his 2007 comedy short The Saviour
, hits the perfect balance between humour and poignancy, making the laughs big and raunchy, the emotions real, and the overall result, a very believable affair.
Ryan Kwanten is a commendable male comic lead, but it's the hugely charismatic performance of Sarah Snook that really stands out. The Hollywood Repoter
rightly called her "Australia's answer to Emma Stone
", and she deserves the same success.
An unspoken star of the film is Sydney itself. Urban hipster haunts Newtown and Darlinghurst "pop" on screen like never before in all their graffiti-walled, cafe-packed metro glory.
Despite some contrived plot points (the convenient pay-to-get-in house parties, for one), Not Suitable for Children
is more than suitable because it doesn't treat viewers like children.
Watch the trailer here