Love Serenade

Ken Sherry (George Shevtsov), the monumentally laid-back fish-out-of-water DJ at the center of writer-director Shirley Barrett’s lightweight Aussie fable, could be the official poster boy for ’70s nostalgia. Tall and beanpole skinny, his leathery, sunken-cheeked mug dominated by a hooked nose that makes him look like Barry Manilow’s rat-faced uncle, Ken the aging hipster shows up in the underpopulated nowheresville of Sunray armed with a fistful of Barry White albums and a way of asking a girl to take her shirt off as if he were explicating a Zen koan. (He turns sleaze into a ”cause.”) This sort of thing might not go over anymore in the big city, but it works wonders on Ken’s new neighbors, Vicki-Ann (Rebecca Frith) and Dimity (Miranda Otto), a couple of nervous, boyfriend-starved sisters who develop a rivalrous fixation on the love man next door. Love Serenade proceeds as a series of pleasingly daft comic dislocations. Ken Sherry, absurd as he obviously is, is the only fish (literally) in this backwater pond; with his poker-faced, if-it-feels-good-do-it charm, he’s so utterly beyond the pale he’s like an alien in polyester. The movie, however, would have had more of a lift to it had it left the two sisters basking in his ’70s-seductive glow. They start out crabby and morose and end up pretty much the same way. B-

Love Serenade
  • Movie