Not Suitable For Children (2012)
Director: Peter Templeman
Writers: Michael Lucas (story), Peter Templeman (story), and Michael Lucas (screenplay)
Stars: Ryan Kwanten, Bojana Novakovic and Laura Brent
I’m not usually a watcher of Australian films because I cringe at either the over-done humour or overwhelming drama. I saw Not Suitable For Children as an audience testing session when it was just about to be released and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw and the reception of others in the audience. For one thing it is a film set in a place I know well and a culture that I am partial to. The film traces the story of three friends who live in the inner city suburb of Newtown in Sydney, Australia. The main character, Jonah (Ryan Kwanten, True Blood, Griff The Invisible), is presented with the end of his ability to procreate and decides he will go to any ends to secure an offspring of his own before his time runs out.
This film is incredibly funny, engaging, and genuine film which balances the unique drama of Australian culture and its humour. This film is the closest thing to a real life in this particular culture that I have seen and it is uncanny how beautiful this creation is. Ryan Kwanten, Sarah Snook (Stevie), and Ryan Corr (Gus) give incredibly compelling performances that make each of the characters absorbing. The friendship between these three characters is both funny and moving. It provides the grounding for the narrative and the complexity to the characters as they develop and interact with one another. There is an underlying truth and reality to this story which makes this film so wonderfully watchable.
This Australian film is unlike any other film I’ve seen and with good reason. It’s crafted with such delicacy and devotion to tell a story that hasn’t really been told before, and a story which touches on a subject that can both resonate for men and women. It tells the story of one of our base instincts, to reproduce, and the difficulties facing both men and women in our society. The idea of having children and raising them when our culture tells us both that we should and shouldn’t do such a thing, that it both takes away our independent lives and gives us “the greatest gift of life”, is a persuasive foundation for a story. The entire production of Not Suitable For Children has come together to produce a fantastic film that will speak to a lot of people across our country, and hopefully the world. I am really hoping this film does well as it is a genuinely fantastic viewing experience and a story that deserves to be told so wonderfully.
I totally recommend you see this film, even/especially if you don’t usually like Australian films, I would give it a real go because you will end up falling in love with these characters and both laughing and lamenting your way through the journey and grief that they experience together. Top points go to Ryan Corr for being the third wheel in this story as well and his incredible performance as Gus, he is a true champion of the inner city Sydney life and has impeccable comedic timing. Sarah Snook and Ryan Kwanten also provide genuinely wonderful characters and especially Sarah’s transformation through the film is inspired and inspiring. Go and enjoy a wonderful Australian film!