All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane

All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Are all Aussie rom-coms ballsy, unflattering, macho and misogynistic? The blokes have commitment issues and the sheilas are treated like bathroom furniture by wham-bam-thank-you-maam stud-U-nots. The best thing about All My Friends… is the absence of sentimentality and the gratification that middle-class middle achievers in Brisbane are as emotionally immature as everyone else.

Anthea (Charlotte Gregg) is an odd heroine, although such an archaic label hardly touches the consciousness of these once cool stay-at-homes. Michael (Matt Zeremes) calls her a sheep because she follows the crowd. She’s also a patsy, helping out in the office because some lazy slob like Kane (Christopher Sommers) can’t be fished to prepare his own presentation. Her ex-boyfriend Jake (Gyton Grantley) has deserted her for Europe and her flat mate Kath (Cindy Nelson) is about to do the same. The title is prophetic and yet, as Michael says, what’s the point of hanging out in London with mates from Oz when that’s what you would be doing in Brissy?

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The film follows in the tradition of an ensemble twentysomething sexathon, although what plays at the back of the bedroom shenanigans are Michael and Anthea’s feelings for each other. Seven years ago, they were an item. Now they are friends. Will they become lovers again? Will you stay around long enough to find out?

None of the secondary characters, with the possible exception of Tyson (Ryan Johnson), Michael’s best friend, whose Stone Age attitude towards skirt is bollocks achingly non-PC, has much going for them. Jake has LOVE RAT tattooed on his testicles and Kath has an ugly duckling complex. Simone (Romany Lee), Michael’s blink’n’miss squeeze, feels cold to the touch and Stephanie (Sarah Kennedy) turns on the taps whenever his attention wanders. Anthea may be dull, but she’s nice. Michael may be passive, but he’s sweetly charming. You care enough about them to wonder whether they kiss better than camels on heat. They do. It’s a relief.

What drags the movie out of the bargain basement is Stephen Vagg’s acid laced script and director Louise Alston’s lightness of being. What it lacks in originality, it gains in ambience.

Reviewed on: 20 Feb 2008
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All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane packshot
Restless twenty-somethings can't decide whether to stay or leave or fall in love. Touring.

Director: Louise Alston

Writer: Stephen Vagg

Starring: Charlotte Gregg, Matt Zeremes, Ryan Johnson, Cindy Nelson, Gyton Grantley, Romany Lee, Sarah Kennedy, Christopher Sommers Pete Nolan, Kirsty Cash, Damien Freeleagus, Sandra Galvin, Francesca Gasteen, Adam Green

Year: 2007

Runtime: 76 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Australia


Australia 2008

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