Country truck driver Jack Willis (Hugh Jackman) has written a romance novel. Fearing ridicule from his mates, Jack uses a pen-name, that of his long-time friend Ruby Vale (Claudia Karvan), a local crop-dusting pilot and café owner (inherited both from her dad.) Trouble brews for Jack when he lands a book deal with a publisher who sends out a vivacious publicist to convince their new novelist to come to Sydney for the promotion of \'her\' new book. Jack asks Ruby to take his place, as a favour. The publisher’s offer to pay for Ruby\'s wedding to local vet Hamish (Andrew Gilbert) convinces her that the favour is worthwhile. Jack realises that he can\'t permit the high-spirited Ruby to run amuck in Sydney in her new role as romance writer, so he decides to escort her as her manager. Their friendly relationship begins to take unexpected turns.
 

By
David Stratton

2.5
A handsome roadtrain driver with a secret - he has just become a top-selling romance novelist...

In an outback community, tomboyish Ruby (Claudia Karvan) runs the Boomerang Cafe and hotel, but prefers to spend her time flying her late dad`s light aircraft. She`s engaged to marry Hamish, (Andrew S. Gilbert), a rather stuffy vet, but her best mate is Jack, (Hugh Jackman), who drives a road train. Jack has secretly written a Mills & Boon-type book, which he sent to a Sydney publisher using Ruby`s name - he thought it would be better received coming from a woman. The book`s a hit, and when the publisher`s rep, Angie Milliken, arrives, Jack has to persuade Ruby to carry on the deception...For about half an hour, Antony Bowman`s third feature works pretty well as a far-fetched but likeable latter-day screwball comedy. Claudia Karvan and Hugh Jackman make a great romantic team. Jackman`s an exciting new asset for the cinema after wowing Australian theatre audiences in Beauty and the Beast and Sunset Boulevard and London audiences in Oklahoma on the West End. The trouble is, the audience is way ahead of Bowman`s screenplay, and when the characters are transported to Sydney the film`s bubble bursts - there are some unfortunately laboured plot developments, the pacing slows to a crawl, and even the charismatic stars can`t regain the momentum. A shame, because there`s talent here, not least Jeanie Drynan as the cafe manager...Margaret`s comments:Hugh Jackman and Claudia Karvan are such a winning combination their presence makes this romantic comedy work. Angie Milliken is also very good and her performance helps keep it afloat when the action moves to Sydney. Most romantic comedies have their silly and predictable elements but the spirit with which Bowman and his cast carry this off makes it well worth seeing.

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Details

PG
1 hour 35 min

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