A film in the mould of "This Years Love" and "Peters Friends", Strange Planet follows the ups and downs in a year of the lives of six twentysomethings living in Sydney, Australia.
It is a film that delves into the insecurities, hopes and dreams of the young professional set. But it avoids the temptation to become maudlin and weepy, remaining upbeat at all times. One character, Ewan, collapses into depression, but after watching the movie Taxi Driver, assumes DeNiro's role with hilarious consequences.
In another potentially weepie moment one of the girls dumps her married boyfriend at a costume party where his dracula outfit is a perfect counterpoint to his hangdog expression as he gets the push.
The girls are all beautiful, the boys handsome but mildly pathetic, which is just about right for the movie. The characters are a little forced but they aren't overdone, so they work. We have a girl who is sleeping her way to a career, her slightly manic compulsive friend who can't get her life toghether after being dumped and their more frumpy but wild mad hatter alternative friend. Does that sound a bit like Rachel, Monica and Phoebe from friends?
The guys are a science freak who is desperate to be married, a workaholic lawyer who's girlfriend dumped him for another girl, and the disenchanted lawyer who becomes a taxi driver and novelist. There are bound to be similarities drawn between these and the characters in friends, but they are likely to be forced.
The end of the movie is rounded off nicely with a perfect conjunction of all the disparate elements and characters in a typical Austrialian beach celebration of the New Year.
Excellent, well worth a look.