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.