Love and Other Catastrophes | Chicago Reader

Love and Other Catastrophes

Several 20-ish friends, lovers, and prospective lovers go about their business on and off a university campus in Melbourne in a farce riddled with ham-handed film references. The most cloying are the most literal: grainy handheld shots meant to represent footage the characters shoot of one another (the two leads are film students) really do feel like candid home movies—they imply that it's interesting to watch people waving, clowning around, and mugging for the camera. A lesbian relationship is presented matter-of-factly, and the main ensemble players are charming, fairly idiosyncratic, and knowable; lead Frances O'Connor has screen presence to spare. But the movie's project to lightly poke fun at these nice young adults trying to find themselves—a jump-cut scene in which one of the characters talks at a hypothetical psychotherapist is a low point—is largely unfunny and strictly themeless. Yael Bergman, Helen Bandis, and director Emma-Kate Croghan wrote the screenplay, based on a story by producer Stavros Andonis Efthymiou.

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