My Year Without Sex

October 29th, 2009 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

Sarah Watt’s first film Look Both Ways was a wonderful story about the other side of Australia that doesn’t have the Opera House or Ayers Rock in their backyards, the hard-working, the barely- managing suburbanites who make up 95 percent of the population.

She turns her camera on the same peoeple and landscape with this film, and with huge, bittersweet doses of tears and humour she really captures a slice of life.

Nurse Natalie (Horler) and radio station tech Ross (Day) are living the dream in a messy house with demanding jobs, never enough money and two cute kids who make life chaos.

After Natalie collapses at her gynaecologist’s office, she wakes in hospital later with her head shaved and stitched and the news that she’s suffered a burst aneurism in her brain that nearly killed her.

What follows is a year of healing and loving amongst real people as they try to make sense of the short time they have. Natalie and Ross’s marriage isn’t really tested by the healing as much as the same stuff they’ve always faced — the threat of retrenchment, the influence of new and old friends and looking after their kids and getting by without going insane.

Threads are picked up and not really followed through, such as the co-worker you’re sure Ross is going to have an affair with, and the whole thing seems to wrap up too neatly and quickly, but Watt has a wonderful ear for the dialogue of real people and a great sense of putting together a picture of their life and surroundings. Her casting in Day and Horler is perfect, neither actor soap opera beautiful but looking exactly like the cute young couple down the street.


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