Rarely do the phrases “romantic comedy” and “testicular cancer” appear in the same sentence. Indeed, the Australian director Peter Templeton may have achieved a world first with this wildly misconceived production, in which a callow root-rat named Jonah (Ryan Kwanten) is diagnosed with the aforementioned disease and faces the prospect of being rendered sterile.
This might not seem like such a catastrophe from the planet's point of view, but despite looking and acting like a puppy who's just been hit on the head, Jonah has apparently always yearned to be a dad. Since his sperm doesn't survive being put on ice – phew, there's that plot hole covered – he has three weeks to track down a woman willing to have his child.
There seems to be a trend in Australian cinema for casting cities against type. While Any Questions For Ben? aimed to make Melbourne look like an epicentre of shallow glamour, Not Suitable For Children is centred on a shabby-chic Sydney terrace where Jonah and friends eke out an improbable living hosting parties for hipsters.
Templeton opts for a dour colour palette – lots of dark greens and browns – that mutes whatever faint humour may have existed in Michael Lucas' script, while a crass scene involving a lesbian couple is liable to erase any remaining audience goodwill. The sole saving grace is co-star Sarah Snook, who projects a mixture of mischief, intelligence and vulnerability that could make her the next Emma Stone. Here's hoping Australian filmmakers manage to capitalise on her talents before Hollywood snaps her up.