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Pretty Bad35%
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1 review, 14 user ratings

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Paperback Hero (2000)
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by Filmink Magazine (owes us money)

"Wait for the video."
2 stars

Haven't we seen enough of those romantic comedies in which two feisty people get together after a cute meeting and 90 minutes of arguing? As new director Bowman says, romantic comedy is difficult to do well. "It is like making a souffle," he suggests. Well, sadly, somebody has opened the oven door on this one.

The main premise - larrikin truck driver secretly writes Barbara Cartland-ish bodice-rippers - is pretty lame in itself. Furthermore, the execution, despite valiant efforts by the mostly-okay cast, fails to engage. The plot is convoluted enough for comic purposes, but still feels as if it's been constructed according to script writing rules.

When city slicker publisher Ziggy Keane (Milliken) comes to find her 'brilliant' new female author, Jack (Jackman) persuades Ruby Vale (Karvan) to pretend to have written his book. The three of them go to Sydney for the launch. Ziggy soon guesses that Jack is the writer and promptly seduces him. Eventually, Jack and Ruby head back to the outback where they finally pair off. This triumphant coupling being about as predictable as having a torch at the opening of the Olympics.

The film indulges all the Aussie film stereotypes - remote outback pubs full of good old 'characters', the lonely (sensitive) man and his dog, country values beating those of the city slickers etc etc. It is a lineage stretching back at least as far as Crocodile Dundee and it wasn't much good then.

Some of the outback shots are a momentary distraction and the two leads hold a good close up (Jackman in particular looks like he might have some real talent). But really this looks like 'AFC-funded Aussie filmmaking by numbers'. Wait till the video but then you wouldn't even enjoy the wide-angle outdoor shots. ---Julian Wood

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originally posted: 03/15/99 12:19:16
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User Comments

1/07/12 Robin Brett Simple, well-structured, charming and unpretentious. Unlike the reviewer. 4 stars
7/27/05 kate yoko it was a great australian love story & also managed to work out out well with the comedy. 4 stars
6/04/05 Susan Very enjoyable,funny,engaging,great cast 5 stars
6/19/04 ann Very entertaining Jackmans acting is as good as it gets; we didn't recognise him from oth 5 stars
8/29/03 Lee I loved the movie...Hugh is terrific. The novel is a fun read as well 4 stars
7/05/02 KMG It wasn't as bad as the reviewer says, and Jackman IS HOT 4 stars
1/20/02 Deborah Bolton thought it was good, fun and broke the cliched typical Aussie look of male and females 4 stars
6/18/01 Leeloo its a good aussie movie, Hugh and Claudia work so well together 5 stars
11/13/00 Nat I liked it 4 stars
10/23/00 Trixie DOyle Wonderful movie! 5 stars
11/02/99 ozwitch lightweight but works if you don't expect too much 3 stars
9/07/99 Melissa Hedges it was pretty good actually 5 stars
4/05/99 Cool Thing This is our next smash? I think not. 2 stars
4/02/99 peter r i liked the attention to detail but over all it was a bit of a 'chick flick' 3 stars
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