Title – Marital Problems (2017)
Director – Dia Taylor (Little Miseries)
Cast – Nick Capper, Callum Gault, Aleis Duffy, Neil Goldsmith
Plot – Still suffering from a relationship break-up and an impending eviction from his rental, down on his luck Ian (Gault) finds a potential savior in the form of loose-cannon gardener Clarke (Capper), who too has recently suffered relationship trauma.
“Let your past make you better not bitter”
Review by Eddie on 19/10/2020
Made for around $50,000, independent Australian dramedy Marital Problems manages to overcome any of its perceived or legitimate budget constraints as a feature film to become a likable and often very clever locally made offering, that suggests its stars and director could very well be long-term players in the countries TV/film space.
Winning some notable awards at the 2017 Melbourne Underground Film Festival in the form of the best comedy feature and best screenplay categories, Dia Taylor’s feature debut harbors a familiar but freshly told tale that focuses on the down on his luck Ian, who is facing eviction from his rental property after his failed relationship with his long term partner has come undone, only to find himself discovering solace in the form of carefree gardener Clarke, whose own story of relationship problems and learnings could prove to be Ian’s saving.
Sharing a bulk of the films screen-time (that was filmed in the always picturesque surrounds of Melbourne), Nick Capper as Clarke and Callum Gault as Ian mange to strike up a solid on-screen chemistry as the two slackers come to terms with their relationship woes, with Capper in particular making his mark as the wild-haired women loving gardener, with his performance here likely to gain the attention of keen-eyed casting directors from around the globe.
While not doing anything overtly flashy or inventive, the direction and storytelling of Taylor is also of note here as the respective tales of Ian and Clarke merge in surprising ways with Martial Problems a far smarter film than you may initially expect it to be as its strands come together in an exciting fashion, displaying a verve and exciting ability to make the most of an otherwise cookie cutter plot of slackers and their failed romantic adventures.
One letdown for the film is that it works better in its dramatic elements rather than its comedic underpinnings, had it managed to somehow draw out more regular laughs around its tales of woes and life’s trials, Marital Problems could’ve been a real noteworthy hit amongst the general populace, a local audience crying out for more locally grown comedic gold.
Final Say –
An enjoyable and surprisingly smart independent Australian feature, Marital Problems is a strong effort from all involved and one of the best local films of its kind its some time.
3 1/2 bottles of Fronti out of 5
To find out more about Martial Problems or where you can view it visit the films official Facebook site HERE
I like the motto.
It’s nice to see when low-budget movies actually make something decent. Too often those that have a budget of millions and millions let us down.
It’s not often you get to many competant movies in this budget range but this is a nice little effort.