Three Summers review: heartwarming piece of storytelling


John Waters and Rebecca Breeds in Three Summers.
John Waters and Rebecca Breeds in Three Summers.

WATCHING Three Summers, I wondered what G-rated fantasy world I had wandered into.

A rural weekend music festival without drugs, vomiting, swearing or copious amounts of alcohol-fuelled sex between scantily clad 20-somethings?

This family-friendly folksy event full of low-key tunes depicted is worlds away from the hardcore carnage we witnessed or read about at Big Day Out, Groovin’ the Moo or Southbound.

Instead, several characters return to an annual music festival held each summer in WA for some fairly wholesome down time.

Irish folk band singer (Rebecca Breeds) meets a folk music-hating Theremin player (Robert Sheehan), racist grandpa Morris Dancer (Michael Caton) clashes with an indigenous dance troupe, community radio announcer Queenie (Magda Szubanski) adds some colour on the airwaves and two middle-aged couples spend more time drinking wine in their campervans than seeing performers.

Getting to see these colourful characters and their relationships develop (or not) throughout three years adds a neat twist to this WA-made romantic comedy, which has its fair share of cringe-worthy Australiana.

There is some not-so-subtle commentary about our racist culture and the structure ensures a repetitive nature; the run-time becomes apparent with a sense of “here we go again”.

Occasionally Three Summers feels more interested in being a showcase for a slew of recognisable Australian stars in glorified cameos, but each one involved brings the goods.

There is no pretence about it; this is a heart-on-its-sleeve heartwarming piece of storytelling.

In fact, this version of a music festival seems far more appealing.

THE ESSENTIALS

Three Summers (M)

Directed by: Ben Elton

Starring: Rebecca Breeds, Michael Caton, Jacqueline McKenzie

Three and a half stars

Review by: Julian Wright

In cinemas November 2

Screening events throughout Perth and Mandurah:

Reading Cinemas Mandurah – Monday October 30, 5.30pm

Charity gala premiere includes a pre-film four-course dinner, entertainment, Q&A with Ben Elton and actors, film screening and after party. Tickets $145 each with funds going to charities. For tickets email mark.anderson@fish.asn.au

Luna Leederville – Tuesday October 31, 6.30pm

Preview screening with pre-film entertainment and a Ben Elton Q&A after the movie.

www.lunapalace.com.au/special-events+2381+three-summers-qa-screenings

Even Cinemas Whitfords – Wednesday November 1, 10am.

Senior’s morning tea meet and greet with Ben Elton, and screening at 10.30am.

www.eventcinemas.com.au/EventsFestivals/ThreeSummersQAndA

Event Cinemas Innaloo – Wednesday November 1, 7pm.

Q&A with Ben Elton following the movie.

www.eventcinemas.com.au/EventsFestivals/ThreeSummersQAndA

Luna SX Fremantle – Thursday November 2, 6.30pm

Pre-film entertainment, Ben Elton Q&A afterwards.

www.lunapalace.com.au/special-events+2381+three-summers-qa-screenings