Penned from Australian writing duo Tom Danger and Logan Webster (aka the Wonder Twins of Bendy Spoon), and directed by Danger, Sweethurt is a chaotic, crazy film. It is filled with hilarious puns and jokes that only Australians can deliver while embracing everyone’s inner geekdom and poor decision-making. At its core, the comedy is two unrequited love stories played out by a bizarre crew of young adults that are a mess of siblings, friends, and lovers, where alcohol goes a long way and following your heart ultimately gets you into trouble. It’s a ridiculous contemporary coming-of-age romance. It covers just about every type of relationship that exists, including one with a goat — don’t balk, it’s an innocent one.
It starts with a road trip to the coast that Jacob (Rav Ratnavake) takes with his two close friends, Mike (Mehdy Salameh) and Drew (Logan Webster), and his sociopath sister, Abby (Sam Germain). They are going to take care of Jacob and Abby’s recently deceased grandfather’s estate and belongings. Unfortunately, Jacob’s ex-girlfriend Olivia (Alannah Robertson) lives in that same town. Meanwhile, Skye (Tyra Cartledge), having just suffered a regretful breakup, is convinced by her best friend, Carly (Rhiaan Marquez), to try some healing techniques of attracting men. The parallel narratives are slightly odd, but in the end, it all makes sense even if you are wondering if having anal with a stranger is really an option on the road to breakup recovery and does it really take 38 days to mourn.
“…two unrequited love stories played out by a bizarre crew of young adults…”
There’s much partying at grandpa’s house in the vein of every 1980s and 1990s romantic coming-of-age comedy. Still, there’s also a bar that’s home base for past life relationship run-ins and where Danger makes a cameo as the bartender. Although there are hilarious moments throughout, nothing compares to the entrance of Olivia’s new boyfriend: the guy with the hair, body, and attitude. Sweethurt keeps the laughs rolling and sentiment for friendship and family intact with never-ending jokes and outrageous quirkiness and its very Australian essence. But the filmmakers never lose sight of the authentic feeling of heartbreak, being the loser at love, and learning how to get over and move on.
As wacky as the film gets with satanic cults, a fiendish sister, and over-the-top gags, it scores with impeccable delivery on all fronts, from demented characters to bawdy humor. It is only slightly similar to a 21st-century version of American Pie with a Green Day soundtrack. It is relatable to almost any young adult from any country because so many fail at love, and it hurts.
With a spaghetti bowl of storylines and characters, Sweethurt manages to wrap them all up in one big twisted, and delightful bite. However, what really makes this gem so irresistible is the cast, who also get some ribbing because, after all, this is a comedy, and it’s all fun.