Review: ‘Low Fat Elephants’

An occasionally bright, but mostly uninspired and inane Aussie hybridization of "Chasing Amy" and "Cyrano de Bergerac," scribe-helmer-thesp Phillip Marzella's "Low Fat Elephants" bounds down the by-now-very-familiar road of a conniving, gay twentysomething's affection for a same-sex, straight friend.

An occasionally bright, but mostly uninspired and inane Aussie hybridization of “Chasing Amy” and “Cyrano de Bergerac,” scribe-helmer-thesp Phillip Marzella’s “Low Fat Elephants” bounds down the by-now-very-familiar road of a conniving, gay twentysomething’s affection for a same-sex, straight friend. Pic never really gets into the meat of what could be an interesting subject — the fundamentally cruel actions that set its plot in motion. But as “Chasing Amy” has already been there too, pic may be too routine even for the historically indiscriminate gay niche aud.

Pic begins with pastry chef Greta (Tessa Well) confessing to the camera her love for roommate Cassandra (Karen Pang). Unable to bring herself to tell Cassandra the truth, she has instead devised a fictional secret admirer, Jean-Pierre, whose name gets signed to the bouquets of flowers and florid romantic poetry that Greta sends to Cassandra. In a singularly unsavory move, Greta “casts” out-of-work actor Yuri (Marzella) to “play” Jean-Pierre just long enough for him to meet and dump Cassandra, after which — Greta hopes — she will “turn gay” and return Greta’s advances. Natch, things go awry.

Low Fat Elephants

Australia

Production

An Acrobat Films presentation. Produced by Phillip Marzella. Executive producers, Gabriella Ward, Matteo Pignatelli. Directed , written by Phillip Marzella.

Crew

Camera (Color, Super 16mm), Peter Falk; production designer, Ben Cotton; art director, Bernadett Butson; set decorator, Alan Hicks; costume designer, Fiona Atherton; sound, Rodney Beuthin; line producer, Ade Djajamihardja; assistant director, Tim Drylie. Reviewed at Outfest, L.A., July 14, 2001. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Tessa Well, Phillip Marzella, Karen Pang, Christopher Gabardi, Teague Rook, Gerard Cogley.
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