Not Suitable For Children

| April 20, 2013

This is the second film I’ve seen Ryan Kwanten in after last year’s Griff The Invisible, and I continue to be impressed at how legitimately good of an actor he is, despite his portrayal of the idiot brother on HBO’s True Blood.  Here, Kwanten plays an Australian party animal named Jonah whose life is turned upside down when his latest one night stand discovers a cancerous lump on one of his testicles.  Turns out, testicular cancer is the “good” kind of cancer, and Jonah should be fine after the testicle is removed.  Unfortunately, the procedure will end Jonah’s ability to ever have children.  This is a problem for him because he always imagined himself one day settling down and having a family.  So, Jonah sets out on a quest to convince some woman somewhere to have his child so that he can be a father.

“But Joe,” you might say, “why doesn’t Jonah just freeze his sperm for later use?”  Well, reader, they thought of that.  In fact, there are a lot of little coincidental moments in the movie that push the plot down a set path.  It can be jarring and even unrealistic at times, but not too bad.  I’m also unclear on what type of movie this is supposed to be.  It’s not really funny enough to be a comedy, but doesn’t take the dramatic parts seriously enough to be a drama.  It functions a lot like a romantic comedy the way Jonah’s friendship with roommate Stevie (Sarah Shook) plays out, but overall the film feels unfocused.

The performances are good though.  Kwanten is strong while out from under Alan Ball’s foot, and Sarah Shook presents a character that is both “one of the guys” and “a woman with needs” in a way that is never cliché.  The worst part of the cast is those two’s other roommate Gus (Ryan Corr).  Gus helps plan and throw the various parties the trio have at their hours, which are apparently so amazing that people pay to be there and that’s how the three make a living.  That was also confusing to me.  Gus contributes nothing to the overall story.  He’s generally around to react to things, and one scene where he’s calling around warning people about Jonah’s procreative crusade is pretty funny, but mostly it’s a useless character.  This is not at all Corr’s fault, who seems to do the best he can with what he’s given.  Maybe this is the playwright in me, who likes to do more with less; including small casts.

Special features include some interviews with the cast and crew, and a behind the scenes featurette.  Available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Well Go USA Entertainment.

About the Author:

Joe Ketchum Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
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