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Australia 1999
Directed by
Emma-Kate Croghan
96 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars

Strange Planet

Making Claudia Karvan look unattractive you might think would be virtually impossible but that’s about the most notable achievement of this painfully forced attempt at a hip slice-of-contemporary-life comedy-romance-drama about three youngish women (Karvan, Naomi Watts and Alice Garner) and three similarly situated males (Tom Long, Aaron Jeffery and Felix Williamson) spread over a year, from one New Year's Eve to the next.

Director Emma-Kate Croghan helmed the refreshing 1996 indie hit Love and Other Catastrophes, when she was 23. This film is, unsurprisingly, thematically related but now her protagonists are in their late 20s, Sydney-side singles looking for love. It's a progression that makes sense for Croghan but a contrived, self-conscious script (by Stavros Kazantzidis who scripted Love and Other Catastrophes with Croghan and went on to write and direct the contrived, self-conscious True Love and Chaos under the name of Stavros Adonis Efthymiou) with a predictable plot and stereotypical characters, mechanical performances (one actually feels sorry for the actors) and uninspired direction only makes one wish that the director, who has not directed another film since, had rested on her laurels. Ouch!

DVD Extras: The theatrical trailers and for masochists, Ms. Croghan ums and ers her way through a commentary.




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