Love Serenade

Australia - 1996

Movie Review By Blue Velvet

In Cinderella fashion, the Camera D'Or award of the 1996 Cannes Film Festival went to Australian first time feature film director Shirley Barrett. Barret's winning film "Love Serenade" is centered around the art of fishing and the euphoria of falling in love. Playing out love and seduction in such an offkilter innocent way, "Love Serenade" is an imaginative yet quirky comedy with a suprise ending.

Vickie-Ann and Dimity Hurley are sisters in their 20's who live together in the tiny rural Australian town called Sunray. Vickie-Ann, the older of the two, is a beautician with big hair and rigid small town ideas. She's ready and willing to marry but the Sunray men haven't measured up to her strict marital standards. The younger sister Dimity posesses a childlike unknowingness and has a keen interest in fishing. During the day Dimity wanders around town on her bicycle and spends her nights working as a waitress at a desolate local restaurant.

The sisters' hum drum lives change when a big time Brisbane disc jockey named Ken Sherry moves in next door. Ken decided to DJ in Sunray to get away from 90's technology and city life. He's a cool 40 something hipster who's been around after three divorces and a brush with Bisbane fame. Over the radio with his seductive style, Ken muses about love, recites poetry, and plays 70's songs about procreation. He whips the sisters into a frenzy and they each immediately bait their lines in hopes of capturing Ken's heart. But Ken uses a bait-switch method to get what he wants with little sacrifice. The story then uncovers a creative twist on why Ken Sherry is the uncommited aloof single guy he is.

Other than a few punches of black humor, "Love Serenade" is primarily powered by its touching script rather than a deluge of jokes and explosive action. The slow pace and small town setting just accentuates the film's soaring highs of finding love and the often wicked sport of catching a mate. If you haven't seen "Love Serenade's" trailer and you plan on seeing the film, make an effort to see the opening credit sequence which is like "An Amercian Gigolo" meets "The Road Warrior."

© 1997 Blue Velvet Air Date: 06/25/97

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