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.