I disliked this movie intensely. Writer/director Stephan Elliott, who gave us the memorably crass A Few Best Men (2011), has stooped even lower in a self-adoring memoir that is loaded with mockery but bereft of empathy (how on earth did he fluke 2008’s lovely Easy Virtue? – maybe because it was written by Noel Coward?). Set during the Whitlam era (72–75) in a coastal town like countless others on Australia’s east coast, we meet the Joneses, the Halls and the Marshes, three families whose members are all interchangeable, so indistinctly are the characters drawn. One of the sons, young Jeff Marsh, records their inane activities while making backyard movies with his friends. Among these activities is an evening of swapping partners, at which all the kids are present (go figure). Social mores are observed, but from a great height by a filmmaker who so wants to play the naughty boy but in the end only comes up with cringeworthy crudity. The thing about making a virtue of bad taste is that, even at a time when vulgarity has had its tawdry triumph over wit, bad taste is still on the nose. I’ve never thought myself prudish, but the depiction of one of the teenage daughters as being good for nothing more than giving the local boys blow-jobs was not a bit funny. Establishing the period through clothes, decor and cars etc is accurate, but done to the point where it feels like you’re watching a back-to-the-seventies costume party rather than a slice of real life, and though the pace is blistering it only highlights the fact that there is not much of a story being told. Though tacky and undergraduate, the cast do their best – Guy Pearce and Asher Keddie are excellent in a lost cause – but the film is all about ego and smut. The fifteen-year-old I was with summed it up when we left, the ‘joke’ about a tortoise tethered to a post deflating us considerably – ‘that movie is SO wrong’.