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Meet the Savages, the family who put the word ‘fun’ in dysfunctional as they set of for a savagely funny second honeymoon.

With typical American movie marketing flair, producer Steve Sachs, an American married to a New Zealander says Savage Honeymoon is "a film about a bunch of incredible characters who love life, who celebrate what they are and who are not afraid of having a good time. We call them the family who put the word fun in dysfunctional."

"an earthy romantic story"

Savage Honeymoon is an earthy romantic story about a West Auckland couple who are king and queen of the speedway set -a world of motorbikes, rock'n'roll, classic cars and alcohol. It was premiered for international buyers at the Cannes Film Festival with a parade of bikies along the Croisette – a promo repeated for its New Zealand premiere.

When Louise tells Mickey that they just don't work together as a team anymore, they decide to head for their favourite seaside resort to re-ignite their romance with a second honeymoon. The plan degenerates when their two teenagers and their eagle-eyed grandmother gatecrash the attempt to recapture true love. The film introduces a new vein of Kiwi characters -the Westies, West

Aucklanders who are typified by black leathers, motorbikes, classic cars and hard partying.

It's a culture that writer/director Mark Beesley, born and bred in West Auckland's Gratia, is well familiar with.

"What I like about them is their lust for living"

"What's characteristic about West Auckland culture is that people have their own rules, " he says. "What I like about them is their lust for living. And the other thing is they're sexy -uninhibited. "

Perry Piercy plays Louise, the staunch biker mother, with Sophia Hawthorne (also starring in When Love Comes) and Craig Hall as the teenagers, and Elizabeth Hawthorne as her mother-in-law. Nicholas Eadie plays Mickey Savage. Theresa Healey and Stephen Hall play a couple who are inadvertently involved in the riotous second honeymoon.

Beesley has directed more than 50 hours of primetime television including the top-rating Shortland Street, Hercules and Xena.

"There's a big throbbing romantic heart to the whole film, but the Savages have to fight for romance. They are brave and proud of who they are, and they're not afraid to express themselves," says the director. "They're facing the same problems as anyone else, but their rule is 'no compromise.' No compromise on love. No compromise on fun."

Published 9/11/2000

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