Plenty of romance, pity about the comedy
Rove sidekick Peter Helliar’s debut film is out today and whoever cut the trailer has seriously let the side down.
Actually scratch that… there are two possibilities here. Whoever cut the trailer either A) didn’t know what they were doing or B) didn’t have much to work with.
Helliar’s film, I Love You Too, is an Australian-set romantic comedy templated on glossy US romantic comedies. All the moving parts are there: the goofball best friend (Helliar), the unobtainable beauty (Megan Gale) and a novel challenge for the central couple to overcome – he can’t say ‘I love you’.
However, what US romantic comedies usually have that I Love You Too definitely does not is a trailer with some working gags in it.Something, anything - a cute situation, a snappy comeback - that you might file away and repeat to a friend or work colleague.
But no, the just over two-and-a-half-minute promo is 100 per cent laugh-free and fails utterly to sell the film. Sure the rhythm’s right: you can spot that Helliar’s movie (he also wrote the screenplay) is a lighthearted romantic jape with attractive stars. But you just can’t spot any humour.
There’s even a poppy Michael Franti number on the soundtrack (with the phrase ‘I love you’ handily repeated), but that’s just the problem, the trailer’s got the form without the content… and content remains king.
If Rove Live was still airing, Helliar would have a weekly platform to spruik his movie from, but without that airtime he and the film need a razor-sharp advertisement.
Star Brendan Cowell, a very capable screen actor whose World War I drama Beneath Hill 60 will be in cinemas concurrently with I Love You Too, doesn’t sell tickets.
The potential audience for ILYT doesn’t care how hard he nailed it in 2007’s slow-burn cop thriller Noise, comfortably one of the finest two or three Australian films of the past decade. They just want good jokes, a bit of smooch and a decent yarn.
Content is what will get punters through the door.
And wouldn’t you know it, ILYT’s crummy trailer comes along just when Australia’s film industry could use a bit of salesmanship. After years of introspection there’s a renewed focus on ‘audience pictures’, tall tales and films that will stand up at the box-office.
Hill 60, a Wog Boy sequel, the 3D cave diving thriller Sanctum and the shark attack shocker Bait, also in 3D, are just a few of the new batch out to shake off the local industry’s stigma of dreary.
At the Logies, Today’s Lisa Wilkinson told Helliar that his movie made her cry (and laugh!) so who knows, I Love You Too could be another Kenny or even The Castle.
But word of mouth won’t spread if you don’t get numbers through the door early to talk things up.
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