One Perfect Day

Year: 2004
Director: Paul Currie
Writer: Paul Currie
Cast: Dan Spielman, Leeanna Walsman, Abbie Cornish, Kerry Fox, Nathan Phillips, Leigh Whannell
This film could have been interpreted as an anti-drug polemic with a deeper message, but it's never the right tack to take when you're trying to connect with the kids.

What too few grown ups (ie politicians, filmmakers and other people with access to the media outlets in this world) realise or want to admit is that plenty of drug use goes on, plenty of it's controlled and brings about no ill effects, and plenty of people achieve what they want from party drugs without any harm done - at least at consumption level.

But as soon as you depict a raver dying of an overdose because of incorrectly packed drugs or antifreeze in the mixture, you risk turning your movie into an ad for the Drug Offensive, and you'll straight away lose all the cool kids who just have to sit through another 'don't take drugs' pointing finger.

More overtly, it's the story about a handful of people and their relationship set against the Melbourne underworld rave music scene. Tommy (Spielman) is studying music in London. He can hear music in everything, walking around with his midi recorder lost in his own world.

It's never entirely clear why his sister Emma (girl on the rise Cornish) is so upset he hasn't got time to talk to her back home in Melbourne - not until we find out she's pregnant, anyway.

And there's Tommy's girlfriend Alysse (Walsmann), a gifted singer waiting for him to come home so they can finish their unfinished symphony together.

Emma OD's while Alysse is there to see it, so Tommy comes home, finding Alysse lost in the party music and drugs scene courtesy of Hector, an unscrupulous producer who wants to get his piece of flesh from her talent.

Meanwhile, Tommy immerses himself in Emma's world, learning to become a DJ and finding what he's been looking for in exploring sounds by playing to a bunch of drug addled kids instead of the stuffy, traditional musical companies of Europe.

All the while, Tommy and Emma's mum (Fox) hovers in the background. I got the feeling she was supposed to be the old square who just doesn't understand the angst of being young, but I saw it from the other angle; she was the one who suffered the most, trying to grow old peacefully and watch the lives of her children flourish but watching them fuck their lives up to the extent it kills them instead.

Whatever relationships drama One Perfect Day tries to be is undone in the last scenes when Hector attacks Alysse and injects with her with something nasty, so Tommy - along with dealer finding his conscience Trig (Phillips) sets him up to take the fall and the whole thing descends into classic goodies and baddies territory.

The funky MTV editing grates a little at times, but all the performances are earnest and it's always refreshing to see a film that doesn't think it has to fall back on comic relief (to say nothing of the lame comedy) to succeed, particularly an Australian one).

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