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Frisky low-budget laffer "Jucy" transforms the chick pic into womance.

With: Francesca Gasteen, Cindy Nelson, Ryan Johnson, Damien Freeleagus, Nelle Lee.

Colorfully stylized, sweet and silly, yet encompassing some serious issues, frisky low-budget laffer “Jucy,” from Australian helmer Louise Alston (“All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane”), transforms the chick pic into womance. Tale of two late-20s Brisbane best friends whose relationship transitions from co-dependent to interdependent will appeal most to a local Gen-Y demographic, but reps a cheerful choice for youth-oriented fests and broadcasters.

Bipolar Jackie (Cindy Nelson) and overweight Lucy (Francesca Gasteen) are friends with emotional benefits who work at the same alternative videostore, participate in amateur theater, and spend so much time together they’re known as “Jucy.” Attacked from all sides by people who say they’re incapable of a “normal” life, the girls decide Jackie should snag a boyfriend and Lucy should locate the job of her dreams. Working again from a quirky script by her partner Stephen Vagg, Alston demonstrates bravura control of tone and pacing. Real-life best pals Nelson and Gasteen (providing their own wardrobes) are terrific and never cuter than when they exuberantly perform chest bumps. Imaginatively composed, crisply rendered lensing leads the resourceful tech package. Lively music track features local bands.



Production: A KCDC, Bunker Prods. production in association with Screen Queensland, Pacific Film and Television Commission, Screen Australia. (International sales: Odin's Eye Entertainment, Moore Park, Australia.) Produced by Kelly Chapman. Executive producers, Steve Cooper, Steve Kearny, Chris Adams. Directed by Louise Alston. Screenplay, Stephen Vagg, based on characters created by Francesca Gasteen, Cindy Nelson.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Jan Reichle; editor, Andrew Soo; music, Caitlin Yeo; production designer, Nick McCallum. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 12, 2010. Running time: 81 MIN.

With: With: Francesca Gasteen, Cindy Nelson, Ryan Johnson, Damien Freeleagus, Nelle Lee.

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