Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really fine movie, 18 Dec 2008
This review is from: Love And Other Catastrophes [VHS] [1997] (VHS Tape)
"Love and Other Catastrophes" is a sweet-natured and funny first movie by Australian writer/director Emma-Kate Croghan, who was ridiculously young (something like 23) when she got it made. It's one of those late 90s a-bunch-of-young-people-with-various-sexual-preferences romantic comedies that were all the rage at the time, but perhaps because Croghan had the wisdom to throw herself into her story and not be defensive about it, it has aged a lot better than some of its contemporaries. (British writer/director Justin Kerrigan's much more heavily-hyped "Human Traffic", which came two years later, is hideously smug and dated by comparison.)

The cast is great: Frances O'Connor, Alice Garner, Matt Day and Radha Mitchell all look terrifyingly young but are all note-perfect. My personal favourite is O'Connor as the lovelorn lesbian film student whose relationship with Mitchell has hit the rocks, but that's because I am one of those straight guys who gets all teary about lesbian love stories. Alice Garner is a nerdish treat (I was about to ask "What the hell happened to her?" but it turns out - thank you, IMDB - that she's been doing this and that since, including a spell on "The Secret Life of Us" and a Ph.D in French History, so she's now Dr. Alice Garner) and Matt Day is excellent in the highly implausible role of a straight young man whose favourite role in world cinema is Doris Day as Calamity Jane.

Croghan got to make one other film, "Strange Planet", and since then she has never been put in charge of a movie. Why not? "Strange Planet" was a pretty good flick, perhaps less assured than this film, but plenty of writer/directors have had second movie blues - look at Kevin Smith, who followed the grungy brilliance of "Clerks" with the utter silliness of "Mallrats" (and I am a fan of Kevin Smith, btw). Is it because Croghan was young, cute and a woman? Or did somebody just get careless? She has great talent. For some reason, it is not being exercised. There are easily enough very, very bad movies being made on a weekly basis for there to be no excuse for someone as gifted as Croghan to be unable to get a film into production.
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4.8 out of 5 stars (4 customer reviews)
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