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Not Suitable for Children Reviews

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Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

August 30, 2013
This Australian movie was lovely. At first it's easy to write the characters off as just being completely irresponsible kids in their 20s, but then the tragedy that happens to the lead character, Ryan Kwanten, brings out the deeper aspects of them all. It was sweet, it was poignant, and it made me chuckle more than once. Not your typical rom-com. Very enjoyable...
TomBowler
TomBowler

Super Reviewer

August 7, 2012
Australia has never had the best track record for normal films. Transvesites in a winnebago, check. Bodies in barrels, check. So it shouldn't really be a surprise that a film about a guy's race against infertility should come out of Australia.

When Jonah finds out that the treatment for his testicular cancer will make him sterile, he sets out on a mission to make a baby before his time runs out.

Such a subject isn't the easiest to stretch out over an hour and a half, so it's a tribute to writers Michael Lucas and Peter Templeman that the film is constantly charming with a wry sense of humour and sarcasm, executed brilliantly by the three leads. The writers have also nailed the characters here, as each of them could easily be locked up in their own stereotypes, but instead are real and layered with hidden depths. Jonah in particular could easily come off as unlikeable after his funny moron schtick wears off, but instead his character imbues the movie with a childlike innocence, despite its initially crude subject matter. Templeman also has a keen ear for every day conversation and the awkward intricacies it brings. Some of the film's funniest moments are in the cringe-worthy conversations between a guy who needs to find someone who wants a kid immediately and his confused subject. At its centre, however, the film is a romantic comedy, and Templeman never forgets to focus on the real relationships developing behind the babymaking farce. The main romance never feels unrealistic or cheaply found. Instead, the two characters grow together naturally through their own developments as characters and understanding of themselves.

Making these characters a reality is a fantastic cast who are perfect for each of their roles. At the front of the pack is Ryan Kwanten. Most people will know the Aussie star from True Blood but he has kept returning home to make independent, cleverly strange films like Griff the Invisible. Here, his Jonah has touches of Jason Stackhouse's stupidity but he's such a likeable guy that he's instantly endeared to the audience. His journey from aloof playboy to earnest adult is forced upon him at first, but by the end of the film he has made the journey in his own right. It's a performance which you can't help but like thanks to Kwanten's great comedic sensibility and an ability to convey a vulnerability and depth in what could easily be a shallow, unlikeable character. His counterpart, Sarah Snook, is more than a match for Jonah as the sarcastic Stevie. She's always the first one to point out the stupidity of a situation and bring a little sanity to the works. However, her sense of humour makes it tough for her to connect with others emotionally, something which Snook displays perfectly. Her awkward manouvering through a real conversation is as touching as it is funny. Ryan Corr provides even more to the comic relief side of things as Gus, the housemate constantly in the dark, constantly on the very edge of knowing what's going on. Other performances from Bojana Novakovic, Alice Parkinson and Laura Brent are welcome additions to an already great cast.

Almost a member of the cast in its own right is the soundtrack. Full of an eclectic mix of party tracks and subtler, softer choices, the music does a great deal to heighten the film while also working in the crux of each scene.

Peter Templeman's direction is a cut above your average indy film: confidently restrained, cleverly dynamic and unafraid of earnest emotion. He handles every beat of the film with the flair of someone who doesn't even realise this is their debut feature. Having written the script, Templeman very clearly understands his subject matter and his characters and, more importantly, how to convey this through his direction. Whether it's an incisive close-up during a key moment for a character or tracking an oblivious Jonah through a pulsing crowd, Templeman adds a mood and a beauty to his film through his camera.

Australia can either make very good films or very bad films. For every Animal Kingdom there's going to be a Bait to follow it up. Not Suitable for Children wobbles a little throughout, but it ends firmly in the good column.

Defining Scene:
The cringe-worthy hilarity of an arrangement with a lesbian couple.
Luke E

Super Reviewer

July 29, 2012
I enjoy a good romantic comedy once on a while. The Australian film industry hasn't done much to make a genuine, funny or exceptional film in the genre. But hearing good things about this film drew me to it, and as a romantic comedy/or not it works. Its the thrid film Ryan Kwantan has made in Australia for years now (after Red Hill and Griff The Invisible), and the debut feature for director Peter Templeman. The Story is about some playboy who finds out he has testicular cancer, so he decides he quickly needs to have a child at this time before he can have treatment. Kwantan will always seem to entertain me on any level throughout his career. But I must mention actress Sarah Snook really steals the show hereproving she someone to have a high profile in the future. The film is actually really funny and charming and will be able to beat any rom com I'll see for a while. The rest of the cast is really good along with the character development and smart script. Its one film I do highly recomend people to see, You'll get what you want!
Lane Z

Super Reviewer

November 29, 2012
This is the first time I've seen Ryan Kwanten in a movie. Much like in Tru Blood, he plays an overtly good looking dummy who has lots of sex and parties all the time. But...he is smarter.

In fact, the script may seem like it'll plummet into vulgarity and sex 24/7 and nudity after the party scene to start, but it doesn't. It actually delivers a likable love story about a guy who is looking for a woman to bear his children before he has surgery to make him infertile. I though Bojana Novakovic looked exactly like Emma Stone. She is the Australian version hands down. Just as beautiful playing the part of roommate/love interest well. The story outcome isn't hard to see, but sometimes these movies just require you to sit and enjoy the ups and downs
March 2, 2014
This was definitely not the toilet humor I expected, for the most part. The characters are really likeable, and while the plot is a bit weak, it was just a lot of fun to watch. Definitely got more than I expected with this one.
November 2, 2012
A guy finds out he has testicular cancer and has one month to have a kid before the surgery. Afterwards he has no chance of having a kid. This movie is lacking a bit.
Joe C.
February 15, 2014
not very entertaining / a few laughs in 1 1/2 hours :(
November 30, 2013
Big let down considering the RT critics number. Good premise but too slow and not nearly enough laughs
Joanna-Lei Baker
November 21, 2013
Totally suitable for adults

Testicular cancer is no laughing matter, but Peter Templeman's feature debut Not Suitable for Children adopts for a light hearted genial approach to the ever cringe worthy topic. Whether to have children or not is a natural point of contention for independent twenty-something's, inducing strong opinions and debate material among the masses. But if the option is taken away, how would you react?

In a crumbing inner Sydney share-house, Jonah (Ryan Kwanten) is the very picture of young adult irresponsibility proving that the only goal in your twenties is to have fun.

Professional party-havers, Jonah and his best mate Gus (Ryan Corr) attempt to build a party empire and live off the cover-charge proceeds of their massive, anarchic shindigs.

In the habit of outsourcing any and all responsibilities to fellow housemate Stevie (Sarah Snook), Jonah is unprepared when his latest casual drug-fuelled one night stand becomes an impromptu inspection that turns up a lump. Informed that it is a completely curable bout of testicular cancer, the only drawback is a permanent case of infertility.

Heading straight to the sperm bank to ensure future posterity, further bad news that his swimmers are not viable for freezing means is only option is to conceive the natural way. Previously unsold on the idea of parenting, the sudden shock wave of emotion starts Jonah's biological clock-ticking, loudly causes a massive shift in the maestros priorities.

Deciding he does in fact want offspring, Jonah postpones the operation as long as possible; a meager three weeks, in hopes of finding a womb-an who may be willing to procreate and produce his progeny.

His first choices of recent ex-girlfriends Ava (Bonjana Novakovic) and the unfortunately nicknamed stalker Becky (Kathryn Beck) flatly knock him back, prompting Jonah's frantic search to the modern equivalent of a little black book, facebook. Unable to find a miss-right now with a known mate, in desperation he casts the net even wider to complete strangers under the theory that almost female will suffice.

Receiving a well needed reality check, the trusted Stevie frankly declares that him having a child should be an arrangement. With the advice to remove all the emotional complications, Stevie lines up candidates and brokers meeting with both an older college who wants her own baby and a lesbian couple so they can help each other facilitate their parental desires.

But when Stevie's 'womb agent' efforts hit a wall, fatherhood remains ever elusive but Jonah comes to the realization that the perfect candidate might be closer than he thought.

Attempting to convince the ever protesting Stevie to entertain the idea of carry his child, Jonah uncovers something even more shocking about himself than his genuine need to be a male parental unit.

Although reluctant to believe the immediate transition from eternal-bachelor to desperate-daddy, Michael Lucas' impressive screenplay resonates. Having come out the other side of a cancer scare himself, he insightfully injects a gentle helping of humor whilst retaining genuine emotional clout.
The clichéd plot milestones we see coming nine months away arrive surprisingly early in the piece, giving audiences moments to bask in the aftermath gouged from comical situational. The edgy patches of vulgar lowbrow fun combined with the contemporary love story are less mould-breaker and rather savvy statement.

The key performances are impressive. Ryan Kwanten tackles the self-indulgent Jonah with a naturally naïve enthusiasm. Ryan Corr is fun (if not fully explored) as the frenzied but clueless third housemate, but it is Emma Stone look-alike Sarah Snook who truly steals each scene to capture the viewer's attention. Destined for cinematic greatness, her expressive eyes convey s pool of emotion while her wonderfully sensitive face signals the complex thoughts hidden within.

The Verdict: All kidding aside, from the thumping soundtrack, attractive cast, trendy setting and emotional transitions, Not suitable for children is a fluffy yet insightful exploration into the drastic and immediate reactions cancer can trigger.
November 21, 2013
Surprisingly beautiful, funny, charming, and heart-warming, with totally unexpected plot twists. Highly recommended
July 10, 2012
Acting from the female lead was a little choppy at times and the ending is somewhat predictable but still a very good film overall.
March 25, 2013
nice movie that could have received a higher rating if it had a more complete ending.
GeorgiaMoxie
September 9, 2013
I actually really like this movie. It is still romantic without being formulaic- he gets the "clock ticking" wall in the face reality that you see women go through when they hit the point where they reach a certain age whereas men pretty much don't, they stay fertile. So now he's able to come to terms with what's really important in life instead of having the 20 something year old mindset that there's a heap of time left to worry about it. While at first he's out to just procreate by the time he reaches surgery he's come to terms with everything and has accepted the big picture- finally reaching the level of maturity he needed by thinking things through instead of just reacting in the moment and thinking selfishly. It's not Hollywood style romantic, but it's real life romantic and nobody gets caught in the rain in a canoe.
August 19, 2013
Enjoyable movie made even better by a breakout performance by Sarah Snook.
August 13, 2013
I didn't know that the guy from "True Blood" was Australian. This is a pretty straightforward romantic comedy with a slightly raunchy edge to it. It's refreshingly not awful. There's not a lot that's new or startling here, but it's nice to see a simple comedy actually done well.
August 4, 2013
I was browsing through Netflix, looking for a film to watch and I came across this Australian rom-com. I was in the mood for a loose comedy so I decided to check it out after looking at the Rotten Tomatoes page and seeing its 88%. After watching it, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of depth and heart that was in this movie. It really caught me off guard, but I was all for it.
Although it did lack some of the humor I was expecting, it made up for it with the perfect utilization of its interesting story and a ton of heart. The young actors did great jobs in their roles, especially Ryan Kwanten in the poignant lead role.
Not Suitable for Children is a good hearted is acted well, directed well, and written well. I can see a lot of work went into this and it really is refreshing to notice something like that.
Madmartigan
July 27, 2013
The big ideas feel indie, but the application feels hollywood/muted at times. Kwanten does reasonably well, but Snook dragged down their chemistry.

Props for effort. It works in parts and falls at others.
July 3, 2013
sort of obvious plot, and no real reason to care for main character
July 2, 2013
It's been a long time since i've seen an awesome film like this. I loved everything from a great compelling story, fantastic multidimensional characters embedded in a realistic world, amazing bit of humor built up with awakardness and lastly gorgeous looking film, the way it was Photographed was amazing.
June 25, 2013
It's a somewhat funny film with moderately relatable characters and an only somewhat ridiculous premise...
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