'Not Suitable for Children' takes Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse from 'True Blood') and flips the female's biological clock on its ear. I'm not talking about a male pregnancy movie here, but rather a film that tries to implement a Judd Apatow style of comedy with some dramatic moments about a guy who is diagnosed with testicular cancer and only has a few days until he becomes infertile and has to have a piece of his manhood removed. The results are less than stellar and do not have enough comedy or plausible plot lines to make a decent film. This is mostly due to the screenplay, which I was shocked to learn had won a writing award. Granted, this award was from the land down under, but none-the-less, an award for writing, which was the biggest flaw of this film. I guess nothing much was up for a nomination.
This uneasy film follows Jonah (Kwanten), who lives with his friends Gus (Ryan Corr) and Stevie (Sarah Snook), in a house where they live a life of partying. Jonah is known for throwing wet and wild parties, and spends all of his days in a drunken stupor while trying to get any woman to sleep with him. If you have ever seen Kwanten, you would know instantly that he has a very easy time doing this. As Jonah puts his partying ways first, he neglects many other aspects of life, one of which is paying the bills, and during a party, the lights go out.
But don't worry, a quick set-up with a neighbor and some long extension cords and the party is lit up once again. As Jonah is working the crowd, one of his girlfriends is down for a romp and they make a quick beeline to the bedroom, only for Jonah to find a strange and scary lump on one of his testicles. His visit to the doctor informs him that he indeed has cancer and that he will only have a few short days until he will have the cancerous testicle removed, thus leaving him infertile.
For some odd reason, this rocks Jonah's world, but not in the scary cancer sense, but the fact that he wants to spread his seed and have a kid with someone before the surgery. This is where things get a bit hairy, as we see a guy who never showed any inclination that he wanted to be a father or even was striving to lead a responsible life, all of a sudden want to be a parent. From here, we see Jonah go down his long list of ex girlfriends and current girlfriends to ask them if they want to have his kid in the next couple of days. All propositions are met with a big fat rejection. Any semi-intelligent person watching this film can see from a mile away that his true love has been right under his nose the whole time, but will it be too late by the time they both realize it?
Not that this movie is any good, but it definitely hammers the nail in the coffin with its ending, where the joke is on us, by using a huge, lazy cop out for a final impression. It's as if even the makers of this film were fed up and just decided to call it an early day and shoot the easiest scenario. Lame. While the script is sub par, the performances are quite charming. Kwanten is a lot of fun in his role despite his sudden change of character. He's witty and entertaining throughout. Corr turns in a solid performance and is by the books whereas Snook is the girl everyone wants to be friends with or date. These actors definitely give life to a dry script, but it never rises over that hill into a good quality film.
'Not Suitable for Children' has a decent enough 1080p HD transfer presented with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This was filmed digitally and has a clear image, although most of the movie looks a little softened. The colors do shine a bit, although there was some mix with the color grading in a couple of scenes.
The detail is good on the whole, with decent closeups that reveal some facial hair and imperfections in the skin, but the objects and characters as a whole do not pop off the screen like we have seen before in polished comedy films. There is a lot of natural lighting used in the film, which might give the entire image that softened quality. There was no evidence of banding or artifacts throughout.
On the whole, this a decent video presentation, but it could have been much better.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix for is mostly a dialogue driven film.
The party scenes definitely pack a punch and put you at the center of the wild bashes with sounds pouring from all speakers. The fidelity is amazing with the prioritizing of the music and dialogue coming across very nicely. Speaking of the dialogue, it's crystal clear and is centered on the center speaker. There were no hisses or cracks on the audio
Although this is a small, indie comedy, it sounds pretty great.
'Not Suitable for Children' never gets off the ground to become funny or engaging enough to enjoy. It wants so badly to be either a hilarious comedy or a heartfelt drama, but it lacks a good script to get it there. However, there are some charming performances that keep the film on it's feet for the duration, even if it sucker punches us with its weak ending. This is a rental.