Director: Rosemary Myers
Starring: Bethany Whitmore, Harrison Feldman, Matthew Whittet, Amber McMahon, Eamon Farren, Imogen Archer, Maiah Stewardson
Greta (Bethany Whitmore) has started in a new school and is not having a good time, the one good thing is that fellow outcast Elliott (Harrison Feldman) decided he wanted to be friends and comes back to visit after school, much to the surprise of Greta’s mum. During dinner that night Elliot comes up with the idea of Greta having a big 15th birthday party, but she isn’t on board with the idea. Her mum has other ideas and ends up inviting her entire year level at school, including the group of girls who hate her guts for no reason.
Greta lashes out at her mum, but eventually relents after her dad talks to her and she does not want to hurt her mum’s feelings.
The party turns out to be more strange than you would expect with people dancing through the door and someone gifting Schrödinger’s cat. When the mean girls turn up and give a really nasty present, Greta has to retreat back to her room and ends up falling asleep, a common occurrence after high emotion.
I don’t want to give away what happens in the dream but it is quite fun and appears at first to be the same party with some differences, but quickly becomes a vision quest where Greta must get back her music box from “the girl with the tiny hands”. It reminded me of the Labyrinth somewhat as there are fantasy versions of Greta’s mum and dad she encounters in the fantasy world and even a hero figure in the form of Huldra who guides her on the quest and finally helps her fight for herself.
I really enjoyed this movie as it was quite fun and had a lot of excellent situations and characters I feel like I want to visit again. Some of the dialog scenes during the school scenes were a bit awkward as we can all recall something similar in high school.
All the costumes were on point especially the ones the party guests wore. During the dream sequence it was even more so with the fantasy characters having the look of being homemade but still out of place in the normal world.
The original story is a stage play and the movie does keep a lot of the stage elements but I think it benefits from this as it makes it unique and something you would not normally see.
I did like the scene with the Chinese as it reminded me of the Women’s Weekly Chinese Cook Book that was released in 1978 and ingredients such as capsicum were hard to get at the time. Greta’s mum dressing up to serve the food and Elliot having training chopsticks also were nice points of this scene.
I also liked the bucket of chicken being used as a prop as were the other things like the basketball, the wall girl with the movie title and other bits and pieces in the movie including things going on in the background you have to watch out for or you will miss.
I did enjoy the performances of all the actors including the mum and dad with the dad Conrad (Matthew Whittet) wanting to crack jokes and look after his daughter and mum Janet (Amber McMahon) wanting her to come out of her shell. She is also the trendy mum and does not want her kids to be squares.
Heaps of music in this and well used including the French pop star who turns up in the dream sequence. I did enjoy the dance scenes and have recommended them to people who like watching them.
The movie may only be short but I hardly noticed as there was so much going on. I would recommend it to anyone who likes movies that are a bit left of centre and coming of age stories with a difference.