I was wondering when the next big stinker after Project X would come along and now, thanks to the wonderful minds of screenwriter Michael Lucas and director Peter Templeman, we’ve got Not Suitable For Children, an Aussie rom-com that’s sure to induce its fair share of facepalming and eye-rolling. The premise is laughable: party-going Jonah (Ryan Kwanten) discovers he has testicular cancer after a raucous one-night-stand and is told that the procedure to remove the ball will leave him infertile. No biggie – he can just freeze some sperm right?
Wrong! Apparently Jonah’s sperm won’t survive the freezing process. Why? Because otherwise there would be no movie. To add insult to injury we also learn that Jonah can’t adopt because the cancer will be on his medical record – it seems the only option is for him to have a kid sometime before his operation which is in three weeks. Ready, set, go!
Ugh… where to begin? If the plot sounds paper thin that’s because it is – it might have made a passable comedy if it wasn’t trying to be so down to earth and blokey about everything. Expectedly, Jonah calls in on every girl his stunned mullet has ever graced (he goes through the whole movie with the same shell-shocked look on his face, caught somewhere between disbelief and being high). One by one however, they turn him down for various reasons that come to us as no surprise. Eventually Jonah settles on the all too obvious candidate who he should have gone with at the start in order to save us from this hedonistic, bargain bin experience.
It all builds to an extended sex scene that taps into that impulsive, party-going lifestyle that the film is really aiming to replicate – regardless, it’s still got nothing on Game of Thrones’ infamous sexposition. To his credit, Templeman succeeds in creating an anarchic atmosphere and the Aussie temperament does the film a few favours but these ultimately fail to circumvent the more major issues. Admittedly, I’m not big on rom-coms so this was always going to be an uphill battle for me but I can still recognise neon signs like hackneyed plotting and stilted acting.
It’s just so… awkward, and it doesn’t help that the whole thing is riddled with montages and sequences set to licenced music which just ends up feeling lazy and cheap. Don’t get me wrong, Not Suitable For Children isn’t the active atrocity that Project X was, but it’s not a far cry from awful either. Its claim to fame seems to be its honest and realistic approach – I guess someone forgot to factor in the ballbustingly dumb premise.
Not Suitable For Children deserves a kick where the sun don’t shine – maybe then it would be funny because as it is it’s a misjudged Aussie rom-com with a ridiculous setup, predictable plotting and unlikeable characters.