Love Serenade | Chicago Reader

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Another intriguing piece of Australian self-hatred, this comic first feature with dashes of magical realism by writer-director Shirley Barrett, set in a desolate backwater of Queensland, focuses on two lovelorn sisters living together, aged 21 (Miranda Otto) and 26 (Rebecca Frith), whose lives are disrupted by a glamorous middle-aged disc jockey from Brisbane (George Shevtsov) who moves next door to them. According to the neofeminist presuppositions of this fable, men are wholly other: the glib, villainous disc jockey literally proves to be a fish and even the 21-year-old's employer, a nudist in his spare time, is at best a sympathetic geek. I could have done without the wall-to-wall music as well as the thematic confusion that can't always distinguish between romantic desperation and sexist exploitation (although, God knows, this story has plenty of both); still, this has a lyrical sense of place that carries one over some of the rough patches.

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