A Heartbeat Away Reviews
The films two young stars are clearly chosen for their "look", he (Sebastian Gregory) for his doe-eyed Frodo Baggins innocence and her (Isabel Lucas) for her high "Bo Derek" (or is that Pippa Grandison?) cheekbones. Sure, they're both very attractive leads but in this small town setting, it comes across as just a little bit twee. Similarly, the band leader father (William Zappa) seems clearly casted for his stoic ruggedness echoing that of Pete Postlethwaite. Colin Friels hams it up effectively as the can't-stop-progress mayor (Muriel's Wedding anyone?) though given that his snide offsider is Tiffany Lamb, perhaps the part ought to have been played by Greg Evans (he would no doubt have been hammier). This is probably the movies core failing: that it acts as a constant reminder of other, better films (TV's Perfect Match notwithstanding).
Simplistic storytelling simply told with screen wipes and fades, aided and abetted by clichÃ (C)d dialogue delivered with unjustified earnestness prevents the film from firing on any level. Indeed the intelligence quotient of the script is nicely summarised when Heâ¢ is met with the revelation that Sheâ¢ is leaving Smalltownâ¢ to go to university and his reply is (with a straight face): "You're a dancer, not a lawyer." That nice little objectification of women there says it all really. And, as if there were any doubt, the film proves beyond all argument that actually, yes, marching band and Nirvana grunge are indeed mutually exclusive musical styles. Their brass rendition of MacArthur Park thankfully (and unsurprisingly) fares much better.
While it's nice to see an Aussie film (and a locally made one at that) that seeks merely to entertain, it won't be this movie which stems the contemporary tide of wrist slitters and hardcore reality flicks.