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BETTER THAN SEX

Australia, 2000 (MIFF 2000, Australian Showcase)

Director: Jonathan Teplitzky

In an early moment of Better Than Sex hilarity, David Wenham feigns chewing his own arm off. Broaching the subject of sneaking off before the previous night's drunken conquest wakes, Wenham imbues this hoary old gag with renewed vigour. Writer/director Jonathan Teplitzky pulls off this feat regularly throughout this fresh romantic comedy; he manages to take very familiar situations and give them a loveable spin. Wenham plays a wildlife photographer who strikes the fancy of Susie Porter, a somewhat disillusioned clothing designer. His exotic and extraordinarily humourous account of snapping Meer Cats on the African savannah and boyish manner wind up in an awkward seduction. Both parties are secure in the knowledge that their affair will be very brief with the in-demand photographer jetting to London in a couple of days. A one-night stand becomes more complicated when genuine compatibility and attraction raises the spectre of something more permanent. Rapid fire dialogue, wonderful, easy-going performances by both leads and an off-beat sense of humour mark this as a fine new Australian work.

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