Sunday, December 16, 2007

Eagle vs Shark

Jarrod: I'm a loser.

Lily: Doesn't matter.

I went to see Eagle vs Shark for the second time yesterday. I first saw it at the Melbourne Film Festival ages ago, but it has finally hit the cinemas here in Australia (although only on limited release).

Eagle vs Shark is a New Zealand film, and is a quirky romantic comedy with the theme that there is someone for everyone and true love is blind. The quote above comes from the film, and sums it up. The two main protagonists of the film, Jarrod and Lily, lead less than perfect lives, working in boring dead-end jobs and living in circumstances as far removed from Martha Stewart and The Brady Bunch as you can imagine (although probably closer to reality than many of us would care to admit).

Lily is shy and awkward, but very sweet, while Jarrod is a surly boy in a man's body, with the mental age of a thirteen year old. He has a chip on his shoulder because he was bullied at school, and tells "hot ones" and puts down everyone he meets to make himself feel better than them. This chip and Jarrod's pathetic attempt to redress past wrongs which he feels have ruined his life form a major part of the plot of the film.

For some reason, even though Jarrod treats her very badly and is hardly the man of most girls' dreams, Lily falls heavily for Jarrod, and does everything she can to try and make him appreciate her. As the plot progresses, even Lily turns away from Jarrod for a short time before deciding that, despite his very obvious flaws, Jarrod is the man for her (hence the quote at the start of this post).

There is a foodie element coursing through this film. Lily bakes Jarrod a cake decorated with his favourite "animal", an eagle, (which Jarrod later carelessly smashes with his fist) to try and win him over. An animated apple core and a rotten apple join up with each other by way of a ride on a discarded "jandal" (for Aussies, a thong, and for everyone else, a flip flop) across the sea, symbolising the relationship between Lily and Jarrod. (This sounds weird, but it is really rather cute.) Finally, some of the action takes place around the dinner table at the house of Jarrod's sister and brother-in-law, Nancy and Doug, where meat and three veg and salad reign supreme.

If you enjoy slightly off beat comedy, I recommend giving this film a go. (The cinema going crowds on the day did not seem to agree, with a very long line for an Audrey Tatou film and only about ten people in the entire cinema for Eagle vs Shark. They didn't know what a gem they were missing!)

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