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"LOVE & OTHER CATASTROPHES"
(1997) (Frances O'Connor, Alice Garner) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Minor None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Minor Mild None


QUICK TAKE:
Romantic Comedy: Several Australian college students deal with love and romance.
PLOT:
Mia (FRANCES O'CONNOR) and Alice (ALICE GARNER) are Australian college students who are looking for a third roommate. Mia has recently broken up with her girlfriend Dani (RADHA MITCHELL), and Alice longs for Ari (MATTHEW DYKTYNSKI), the campus "Warren Beatty." Meanwhile, Michael (MATT DAY), a nice, reserved medical student, is looking for another place to live. As Mia goes through the throes of switching classes, Alice tries to find the perfect man, and Michael tries to find a place to live, the students' lives intertwine as they deal with love and romance.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens are the film's main audience and only those who have heard of this low budget, independent film will want to see it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sexuality, language, and some drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • All of the major characters smoke marijuana in one scene.
  • FRANCES O'CONNOR plays a lesbian who loses her lover after taking her for granted.
  • ALICE GARNER plays a woman with very particular requirements for the man of her dreams.
  • MATTHEW DYKTYNSKI plays the campus gigolo who sleeps with women for pay (and is seen doing this once).
  • MATT DAY plays the unassuming pre-med student.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 6 out of 10
    Shot on a shoestring budget, this small Australian film is filled with likeable characters that have a great deal of potential, but are ultimately foiled by the lackluster plot. Most of the characters are fresh and original and the actors who inhabit them all perform decently. One only wishes, however, that they had a stronger script with which to work. It's rare to come across a film where the characters have more depth than the story, but that's the case here. Of course one shouldn't expect a great deal from a film that cost less to make than most second rate actors make per movie in Hollywood. It isn't horribly done, but there's the constant feel that this could have had a smarter story filled with more wit. The director, Emma-Kate Croghan, shows her film school roots with her many movie references that she sprinkles throughout the production are occasionally are too "cute" for the good of the film. This is often the problem with films made by "young" directors, as their focus is on the world of film making and they often fill their early works with film factoids and references. Several questionable and/or rough edits also betray the production's low budget. Despite our criticism -- that's mentioned only because this could have been so much better -- this is actually a cute and often amusing little film. While we wish there could have been more, we give it a 6 out of 10, mainly due to the performance by these fresh, young actors.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Shot on a shoestring budget, this small Australian film is filled with likeable characters that have a great deal of potential, but are ultimately foiled by the lackluster plot. Most of the characters are fresh and original and the actors who inhabit them all perform decently. One only wishes, however, that they had a stronger script with which to work. It's rare to come across a film where the characters have more depth than the story, but that's the case here. Of course one shouldn't expect a great deal from a film that cost less to make than most second rate actors make per movie in Hollywood. It isn't horribly done, but there's the constant feel that this could have had a smarter story filled with more wit. The director, Emma-Kate Croghan, shows her film school roots with her many movie references that she sprinkles throughout the production are occasionally are too "cute" for the good of the film. This is often the problem with films made by "young" directors, as their focus is on the world of film making and they often fill their early works with film factoids and references. Several questionable and/or rough edits also betray the production's low budget. Despite our criticism -- that's mentioned only because this could have been so much better -- this is actually a cute and often amusing little film. While we wish there could have been more, we give it a 6 out of 10, mainly due to the performance by these fresh, young actors.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Michael's roommates are seen doing bong hits.
  • Mia states that if a certain man leaves the campus, she'll start smoking "giant reefers."
  • Mia jokingly says that they should get some drugs to complement the alcohol they'll consume to celebrate her successful class transfer.
  • Mia drinks wine while Alice tries on clothes.
  • People drink wine and beer at a party.
  • A guy at a party smokes a joint.
  • While discussing their favorite films, Ari, Alice, Mia, Danny, and later Michael all share a large marijuana joint and drink champagne.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • One of Michael's roommates graphically throws up in the bathroom sink.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Dani left Mia evidently because she wasn't being treated right and thought she was being taken for granted.
  • In a few scenes, Mia tries to get Dani and her new girlfriend to break up.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "She's a babe," "Whore," "Boinking" (sex) and "Wanking" (masturbation).
  • Ari is a gigolo (sex for money).
  • All of the major characters smoke marijuana in one scene.
  • Alice parallel parks her car and bumps into another car and leaves without a second thought about it.
  • Mia half-heartedly jokes about slitting her wrists after receiving a huge library fine.
  • Ari says, "You should try everything at least once except for incest and folk dancing."
  • A female student sports a nose ring.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 8 "f" words (and 1 use of the slang term "boink" used sexually), 7 "s" words, 1 slang term for male genitals (the "d" word) and 1 slang term for masturbation ("wanking"), 1 hell, and 2 uses of "Oh God" and 1 use of "God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We hear sounds (moaning and phrases such as "Yes, that's it" and "Oh God, you're so good") of a couple having sex and see Ari, but not the woman on top of him. Moments later, the woman pays Ari for his "services."
  • A minor character early in the story is obsessed with information about circumcisions.
  • Mia and Dani are lesbian lovers and are seen kissing twice and are in bed at the end, although no activity or nudity is seen.
  • As Michael goes through a round of phone calls looking for a new room to stay in, one call goes to two S&M dressed men (leather hoods), one of which rides on the other's back and bare buttocks are seen.
  • Mia tells Alice that a computer student offered to "hack" into her personal files and delete her library fine record in exchange for a "blow job" (oral sex). Alice is shocked, thinking that she actually did that, but Mia says that she only gave him a "hand job." She then states that it didn't matter because he couldn't do it (break into the file), and Alice says, "Oh, he couldn't come?"
  • Michael and Ari are in the men's room when they hear two guys having sex in a bathroom stall. One of the guys then comes out and bums money for a condom that he then buys and returns to the stall where more sexual sounds are heard.
  • Michael comments on an attractive woman who walks by and Ari states that he's "been with her" a couple of times.
  • Mia reminds Dani of the time she was under the covers, "giving you a..." when someone walked in and Dani tried to act nonchalant.
  • Several women discuss a professor's heart attack and attribute it to him "wanking (masturbating) over a picture of Madonna."
  • A couple is seen having sex standing up against the bathroom wall. While no nudity is seen, sexual movement and some sounds are observed.
  • SMOKING
  • A woman smokes at a party.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A professor briefly mentions his wife leaving him after eighteen years of marriage.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Having sex for money.
  • Drug use.
  • There is a very brief, comical flashback of a professor dying of a heart attack after eating too many fattening foods.
  • VIOLENCE
  • None.



  • Reviewed April 9, 1997

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