Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Miranda Otto, Rebecca Frith, George Shevtsov, John Alansu, Jessica Napier
Director: Shirley Barrett
Critics nationwide are cheering the wickedly funny and outrageously entertaining LOVE SERENADE! Though one is shy and the other is flashy and outgoing, the Hurley sisters are both lonely young women on the lookout for love... more »
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Wonderfully weird, wacky, and funny to boot
magellan | Santa Clara, CA | 06/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first became aware of some of the great movies coming out of Australia and New Zealand in the 80s, and this movie is one of my favorites. It's a very quirky, off-beat, and darkly funny film that probably won't appeal to many moviegoers, but it shows what a good script writer, director, and just a handful of talented actors and actresses can do with what at first blush seems very mundane and not especially promising material. The movie hinges on its intimate portrayal of the several characters and their relationships, set against the backdrop of the small, dead-end, Australian outback town of Sunray, west of Brisbane on Australia's Sunshine Coast. There are only four main characters in the entire film: the two sisters, Vicky-Ann and Dimity, the DJ, Ken Sherry, and the Chinese restaurant owner and nudist, Albert. The whole movie revolves around these four odd characters and their equally odd relationships.
The plot unfolds with the langourous pacing of a pitcher's duel, but the only real pitcher (more like pitchman) in the movie is the sleazoid, manipulative DJ, Ken Sherry, who pitches his cynical and self-serving philosophy of free sex and free love to the two inexperienced and naive neighbor sisters who are competing for his affections. At first charmed by Ken's smooth-talking demeanor, the three are soon involved in a bizarre love triangle, and the girls quickly find out that Ken is nothing more than a smooth-talking and manipulative cad.
Besides Ken and the two sisters, Vicky-Ann and Dimity, and their relationships, which would be enough quirkiness for any movie except this wonderfully weird black comedy, there's Albert, the nudist/philosopher and Chinese cook, who doesn't like Ken's unchanging roster of Barry White songs because they're always, as Albert says, "about procreation" (and tells him so). This is despite Albert's admitting to being a practicing nudist. Albert becomes obsessed with why Ken doesn't order his fresh prawns and only orders the beef with black bean sauce. Unlike the two smitten sisters, Albert isn't impressed with Ken one bit. Soon the story is enmeshed in a web of suspicions, as Ken is suspicious of Albert's prawns, Albert is suspicious of Ken's smooth ways with the women, and the two sisters are suspicious of each other's designs on Ken.
In fact, the subject of fish and seafood almost becomes another subplot, as the characters talk about fishing, the giant marlin on Ken Sherry's wall, go for a leisurely canoe trip on the local river, and debate the freshness of Albert's prawns. As if that weren't enough, Dimity thinks Ken himself is part fish--he apparently has webbed toes and she thinks he has gills on his neck which exude a fatty substance just like a carp! (This despite the fact that Ken doesn't like fish :-)). The two sisters have a blow-up when Dimity reveals her suspicions that Ken is really a fish. The movie opens with a fishing scene on the river and ends with another scene on the same river (which I won't discuss since it would ruin the plot, but it has to do with that infamous line from the first Godfather movie about Lucca Bratsi).
As if all of the above weren't enough, add in a striptease scene by Dimity, some frank nudity and sex, and what will happen with the two enormous and mysterious storage silos that keep appearing throughout the movie, and you have one of the strangest, quirkiest, and funniest movies ever to come out of the great and exotic land of Oz. This movie has the potential to become a cult classic although I doubt it'll ever get the attention and fame that it truly deserves."
Brilliant Slow Burn
Chris | Australia | 06/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Love Serenade is a one-off and highly novel arthouse movie based upon largely unknown actors and a narrow and quirky plot. This is very much a slow burn and it won't appeal to some, while others will be coming back again and again. The movie starts when big time dag, and one time DJ "Ken Sherry" rolls into a dead-end Australian outback town in his dated brown RX7 to the sound of one of Barry White's more seedy tunes. No sooner has Ken arrived on the scene than two backward country sisters, (one fiesty, one clueless and both desperate) start their own amateurish fight for Ken's effections. Ken is a big town sleaze who takes it upon himself to take full advantage of both naive sisters while spouting his own poetic brand of self-justifying hedonistic philosophy. With the local Chinese chef and nudist Albert as the self-appointed voice of reason (and superstition) the whole plot becomes increacingly bizzare. The ending really takes the cake and is a great moment the first time you see it. I should add that Ken's most redeeming feature is that he plays great music tracks from the 70's on his radio station, and the soundtrack to this movie is extremely enjoyable and well worth hunting down on CD."
Sunray Silos & Sheilas
driver011 | Christchurch, New Zealand | 02/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My favourite movie. Drive into the hypnotic outback town of Sunray and adjust your attitude accordingly.Two small-minded sisters and two over-sized silos hardly sound like the basis for a plot. However,introduce a jaded sleazo DJ in exile from Brisbane,throw in a singing,nudist Chinese restauranteur,smother with a liberal coating of agendas(both obvious and hidden)and you have a very dark comedy.Comedy because it makes you laugh and dark because it makes you think. Certainly,the search for the ideal partner will never seem the same again.Neither will beef and black bean sauce. This film probably holds tremendous appeal for a potentially limited audience and as such may never achieve the acclaim it truly deserves."
FANTASTIC AND FUNNY!
carolyn5000 | 03/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I abolutely LOVED this movie! Both sisters and Ken Sherry were delightfully quirky and amusing. Its a great movie that is NOT predictable and is so interesting and funny. The acting is GREAT on all parts, the restaurant owner was a special treat. I would highly recommend this movie if you like more low key indie movies like Trees Lounge and Kicking and Screaming and the fantabulously underrated She's So Lovely."