ALL MY FRIENDS ARE LEAVING BRISBANE: DVD
Single and twenty-something, Anthea (Charlotte Gregg) is thinking of leaving Brisbane for London like her friend Kath (Cindy Nelson), but her best friend Michael (Matt Zeremes) thinks she is simply following the crowd. Anthea is still pining over her ex-boyfriend Jake (Gyton Grandley), while Michael has just begun a relationship with Simone (Romany Lee) but does not know where it is going. Anthea and Michael have been best friends for seven years, but must come to terms with how they feel before she gets on the plane.
Review by Louise Keller:
There's a real energy and sense of place about this involving romantic comedy in which character takes centre stage. The debut feature for director Louise Alston, the film is an exploration of relationships, and the genre works extremely well. Caitlin's Yeo's soundtrack pumps the life blood into the proceedings, while Stephen Vagg's script flows effortlessly, getting us involved with the characters. The pleasures of the film lie in the seesawing relationship between the two central characters, and while there are no major surprises, it's a likeable and enjoyable interlude that captures a specific mood, lifestyle and mindset.
'Get some new friends,' Matt Zeremes' Michael tells Anthea (Charlotte Gregg) in the park, when she tells him 'All my friends are leaving Brisbane'. Gregg is especially appealing as the sensitive twenty-something blonde who feels as though the world is leaving her behind. Her friends have gone travelling, her relationships have fizzled out and her job seems like a dead end. Do you want to be happy now or in 10 years time.... be a free spirit, her friends tell her, but Anthea romanticises about the relationship she shared with her ex-boyfriend Jake (Gyton Grantley) who has just walked back into town and her life. It is the easy relationship she shares with Michael that is most important to Anthea; after all they have comforted each other when their respected relationships failed and their friendship is above all, comfortable. We feel like flies on the wall as Anthea confides in her flatmate Kath (Cindy Nelson) and Michael confides in his friend Tyson (Ryan Johnson). There's the new budding relationship between Michael and the tousle-haired Simone (Romany Lee) and Anthea gets a second chance with Jake.
It's lively and funny, warm and engaging as we tag along with Anthea and Michael at work, home and at play. There are drinks, dinners and parties all with ups and downs. New relationships come into play as does the issue of unresolved sexual tension. Flashbacks and fantasies work well as part of the comedic mix, but the action always swings back to the relationship between Anthea and Michael. Will they or won't they get together may be the question, but it's really a matter of how that matters most. This is a candid and charming date movie that deserves a wide audience.
DVD special features include director's Commentary as well as a commentary with actor Ryan Johnson and writer Stephen Vagg, plus cast and crew interviews, deleted scenes and video clips. The Making of featurette is polished and professional and provides a good insight into Louise Alston's approach; on casting, for example, she says that as they couldn't afford stars, they went and found stars of tomorrow. It's a good indicator of the Aussie 'can do' approach that is so valuable.
Published September 18, 2008
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ALL MY FRIENDS ARE LEAVING BRISBANE: DVD (M)
CAST: Charlotte Gregg, Matt Zeremes, Gyton Grantley, Cindy Nelson, Romany Lee, Sarah Kennedy, Ran Johnson
PRODUCER: Jade van der Lei and Louise Alston
DIRECTOR: Louise Alston
SCRIPT: Stephen Vagg
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Judd Overton
EDITOR: Nicola Scarott
MUSIC: Caitlin Yeo
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Hayley Egan
RUNNING TIME: 76 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Accent Films
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Brisbane: November 15, 2007; Melbourne: February 23, 2008; Sydney: May 9, 2008
SPECIAL FEATURES: Director's Commentary - Louise Alston;[BREAK]Commentary - Ryan Johnson (actor), Stephen Vagg (writer);[BREAK]Cast & Crew Interviews; Behind the Scenes; Deleted Scenes; Extra Video Clips [no subtitles]
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Accent
DVD RELEASE: September 18, 2008