Miles ahead of the average teen film, Flirting is a most agreeable sequel to John Duigan’s earlier pic The Year My Voice Broke. The new film doesn’t pack the emotional wallop of the first, but it still charms. This depiction of well-to-do teens in sexually segregated schools also looks obliquely at latent racism at the time of the ‘white Australia’ policy. Events that led to the Vietnam War already were in motion.
Noah Taylor reprises his character of Danny Embling. It’s 1965, and Danny’s parents have sent him to a boys-only boarding school across the lake from a similar institution for girls. In the girls’ school, a young Ugandan student suffers racial slurs. Thandiwe (Thandie Newton) and Danny meet and are attracted to each other.
Duigan handles this material with a great deal of humor and charm, demonstrating a sharp ear for contemporaneous teen dialog. A curiosity is Nicole Kidman’s appearance as one of the girls’ school students. Flirting was shot before she went to the States to appear in Days of Thunder [released in summer 1990].