Arts & Entertainment

Parenting Options Put On Display in 'Not Suitable for Children'


Reel Reviews
Movie: Parenting Options Put On Display in “Not Suitable for Children”
July 7, 2013
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Becoming a parent is something that most people either know that they want or that they do not want and there are not a whole lot of people who are on the fence about making that kind of life altering decision. When the option of having biological children is taken away, from a person who thought they would have years more to think about it and change their ways, what do they do? This is the dilemma faced in Not Suitable for Children.

Party animal Jonah (Ryan Kwanten, HBO’s True Blood) and his two roommates Stevie (Sarah Snook, Crystal Jam) and Gus (Ryan Corr, Where the Wild Things Are) throw parties that have become legendary and they make them extremely popular among a certain sect of people. It is during one of these parties that Jonah is made aware of a lump, prompting him to see a doctor. The doctor delivers the good and bad news: the bad news is Jonah has testicular cancer; the good news is that they can eradicate it by an operation and some chemotherapy, but it will leave him unable to have children.

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Now faced with something that he never thought he wanted being taken away from him, Jonah makes it his mission to impregnate a woman- any woman willing to sleep with him- before his operation. He calls up ex-girlfriends and coworkers, but cannot find a woman that is willing to help him, given his short, rushed timeframe. It is his seemingly platonic friend Stevie who recommends that the situation should be more like a business arrangement and it would appear that she may be the perfect business partner.

The easiest way to describe the 2012 Australian film Not Suitable for Children would be that it is not horrible, but it is not great either. Its storyline is different and creative compared to most of what one could find in theaters currently, but for being so short it does drag often. The three main actors are all well suited for their roles and the chemistry between Kwanten and Snook is believable and well developed, although the paths each character takes are all obvious. Witnessing Kwanten go from a carefree partier to a family craving adult is enjoyable to watch; his discovery of cancer and his subsequent coping mechanisms really does show how he mentally deals with his diagnosis in a linear, step by step way. Snook’s evolution from a young career minded woman to realizing that she may want a baby, but on her own terms, and this being her last chance, is interesting.

The scenery and sets are often bright and properly showoff the characters youthful, cannot afford their rent, bohemian lifestyle. The music too is contemporary and fits the moods of the scenes whether it be a party, a diagnosis or a business deal. The film is simply an easily watchable way to kill time; there is nothing special or overly exciting about it, it is just is what it is.      

Not Suitable for Children is rated R for strong sexual content/ nudity, language and brief drug use and runs 97 minutes. It is currently available on Netflix Instant.

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