The perfect film for you and your mates (and if you're above 18 years old)February 10, 2017

If you happen to be in the mood for watching a film with them, then you need to do a research. "Love and Other Catastrophes" would mark its 20th anniversary of release in the US. It was shown in Australia several months before word of mouth reached foreign land. "Love conquers all," quipped one film student during one scene. Stavros Kazantzidis came up with an ordinary story set at the University of Melbourne, yet an Aussie comedy could be anything but dull.

Film enthusiasts would recall Rob Sitch's tender depiction of suburbia in "The Castle", but it was the quirkiness of the Kerrigan home that won the hearts of the audience. Muriel Heslop became part of our pop culture while ballroom dancing made it into the curriculum through the most unusual manner. (“Strictly Ballroom” if you haven't figured the last one.) The common denominator won't be the familiar drawl, which would be obvious. It won't be the distinctive traits that would amuse us. We could simply relate to it. Hollywood could have considered a remake, but this was the 1990s. (The biggest Australian stars migrated to America before the turn of the third millennium.) In the case of "Love and Other Catastrophes", Emma-Kate Croghan thought about couples who have commitment issues, shy lads who were hesitant to make the first move, and Doris Day as a feminist icon. Croghan could refer to "Pillow Talk", as her debut film explored sexuality among university students.

Frances O'Connor and Radha Mitchell led a sprightly ensemble, and it wasn't hard to ignore their presence. (In O'Connor's case, she starred in a Steven Spielberg picture several years later.) Alice Garner stood out, as she played the roommate that would make other students wished for a better day. It could still depend on a certain personality, though. (You must see to believe it.) Any young actor could play these students dealing with teenage (and young adult) issues, but there was something about this particular cast. They were able to bring out their quirky side, even unafraid of being ridiculed (in front of an audience). They even made us recalled our foolish moments. If you happened to be an older viewer, then this might be a bittersweet journey down memory lane.

What would "Love and Other Catastrophes" had to do with Valentine's Day? Nothing at all. Then again, love became a Hallmark moment during this time of the month. It would be a perfect film for this kind of occasion, even better than the romantic comedies that Hollywood monopolised during the past decades. Anyone needs a good laugh, even a distraction from the heat. Don't say there won't be anything to do at home.

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