DVD Review - Not Suitable for Children

Ryan Kwanten and Sarah Snook
in "Not Suitable for Children"
If people don't know who Ryan Kwanten is, he's one of the stars of the hit HBO series True Blood, but I first came to know the young, Australian actor when he starred in a small, independent film called America Brown (2004). Prior to that, he was a soap stud on Australian television, but, in between shooting episodes of True Blood, Kwanten has continued to appear and lead small, independent films, mainly in his native Australia and each film has been subsequently different, unique and just as interesting and compelling as the one that he did before. True Blood, of course, makes great use of Kwanten's sex appeal, but these Australian films he's made show how smart and great an actor he is, or at least how smart and great the filmmaking community in Australia is. Yes, he's done and been in bigger Hollywood pictures, but I'm focusing on his Australian movies because to me they're better. After America Brown, I next saw Kwanten in Red Hill (2010), a horror film. He then did Griff the Invisible (2011), a quirky, superhero flick. Not Suitable for Children (2012) is a romantic comedy.

The story has echoes of 50/50 (2011). It's about a young man dealing with something that he never thought he'd have to deal until he was perhaps much older. The great thing about this movie, written by Michael Lucas and directed by Peter Templeman who also gets a story credit, is that ostensibly it focuses on Ryan Kwanten who plays Jonah who works with an andrologist to handle his pending infertility. Yet, Templeman and Lucas make this equally a focus on Sarah Snook who plays Stevie, Jonah's roommate and one of his best friends.

Stevie is a career girl. She wants to excel at her job. She isn't thinking about having a family. She also might be a party girl. She wants to have fun, drink and dance. She doesn't want to settle down. Lucas imbues her with the qualities normally associated with a man, but she isn't. She's a woman like any other, with her own mind who has no romantic interest in Jonah, and, because of all this, makes her high-and-above practically every girl in every romantic comedy that has played in theaters in the past year or two.

The only thing that might hurt this movie's chances among the masses is the fact that it's not laugh-out-loud funny. Even though there have been tons of films that feature a guy and a girl having an awkward sex scene, two recent examples are Your Sister's Sister and Gayby. This movie is not as funny as those two films. There aren't as many jokes or one-liners. Yet, the inherent comedy of the situation is enough. One of the best examples is an oral sex scene that reveals a plot point.

Ryan Carr who plays Gus, Jonah's other roommate and party planner, and Bojana Novakovic who plays Ava, Jonah's ex-girlfriend, get pretty hilarious reactions. They're delightful as well as the soundtrack, which includes a couple of great songs from The Black Keys.

Five Stars out of Five.
Rated R for strong sexual content/nudity, language and brief drug use.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 35 mins.


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