Written and Directed by Stephan Elliot
Produced by Al Clark and Jamie Hilton
Starring Radha Mitchell, Guy Pearce, Julian McMahon, Kylie Minogue, Asher Keddie, Jeremy Simms, Jack Thompson, Atticus Robb and Darcy Wilson
“Bonkers! One of the funniest Australian comedies in years.”
by Matthew Eeles
2018 is set to be a big year for Australian films with Simon Stone’s Breath, Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale and Luke Sparke’s Occupation already highly-anticipated movies among many others.
January will mark an explosive start to the new year with Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country and Stephen Elliot’s Swinging Safari the first two big films to bolt out of the gate.
The standard for the remainder of the year has been set very high with Sweet Country winning a ton of awards on the festival circuit and Swinging Safari being the funniest Australian comedy since Abe Forsythe’s Down Under – nothing will make you laugh harder than watching Jeremy Sims waddle around in a skin tight jumpsuit.
Written and directed by Elliot (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), Swinging Safari follows three families living next door to each other smackbang in the middle of a cul de sac. Each family is as dysfunctional as the next, which makes the most obscene of decades, the 1970’s, the perfect setting for this bonkers comedy with a teen-angst twist.
The harmless, albeit chaotic, relationships of the three central families go tits up after the adults partake in a sexually charged ‘key party’. While some take more advantage of the opportunity than others a war of jealousy and suspicion quickly ensues.
While some clever marketing will have you believe it focuses mainly on the ‘grownups’ (played by a grand group of Australian megastars), the film’s real heart is in the children. There’s an engaging crush brewing between the Super 8-obsessed Jeff (Atticus Robb) and girl-next-door Melly (Darcy Wilson), who’s struggling to find her place in the world amongst the chaos of the goings-on around her. These younger characters are far more interesting than the older ones.
After a few snags along the way (A Few Best Men being the worst of a stale bunch), Stephan Elliott is back to his best with Swinging Safari, backed up by a cracking semi-autobiographical tale, world class production design, fabulously atrocious costumes, and genuinely hilarious performances.
Despite being set around 40 years ago, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Swinging Safari.
Swinging Safari is in cinemas from January 18.