Punchier on the periphery than at its underdeveloped core, pic emerges as a fitfully funny farce. Tale of a serious playwright tempted by sex and fame will surprise few, though this debut by Australian director Pip Mushin looks to have enough in the tank to secure a local distributor and turn in modest B.O. locally.

Punchier on the periphery than at its underdeveloped core, “Josh Jarman” emerges as a fitfully funny farce. Tale of a serious playwright tempted by sex and fame will surprise few, though this debut feature by Australian director Pip Mushin looks to have enough in the tank to secure a local distributor and turn in modest B.O. locally. Respectable life as a tube item awaits elsewhere.

Meaningful, fortyish dramatist Josh (Marcus Graham) is optimistic he’ll be discovered any day. Deliverance from obscurity appears to arrive in the libidinous form of acting student Sasha (Kestie Morassi), whose father Stan Billows (Kim Gyngell) is Melbourne’s leading legit producer. Billows promises to stage Josh’s latest two-hander, “A Man and A Woman,” on the proviso Josh keeps wayward Sasha on the straight track. Deal looks sweet until Billows begins sexing up the script and Josh falls for down-to-earth neighbor Maxine (Daniela Farinacci), a cellist, who, in film’s highlight, has orgasms while playing Brahms’ Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5. Popular Aussie TV actor Graham isn’t stretched in the main role, and he’s easily outshone by Morassi’s lusty hellcat and Farinacci’s sensitive musician.

Josh Jarman

Australia

Production

A Red Rover Prods. production. (International sales: Red Rover, Melbourne.) Produced by Pip Mushin, Eva Orner. Executive producer, Ray Jacobsen. Directed, written by Pip Mushin.

Crew

Camera (Cinevex color), Jaems (cq) Grant; editor, Uri Mizrahi; music, Brett Rosenberg; production designers, Ben Moriesen, Carrie Kennedy. Reviewed at Melbourne Film Festival, July 31, 2004. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Marcus Graham, Daniela Farinacci, Kestie Morassi, Suzy Cato, Kim Gyngell, Damien Richardson.
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