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By Tom Meek | March 25, 1997

An intellectually sanitized and overtly sensitive look at love and higher learning on a college campus, Down Under. But first time director, twenty-three-year-old, Emma-Kate Croghan, bites off more than she can chew. She is more concerned with her actors’ appearanceñthey look like participants on MTV’s “Singled Out”ñthan their character development. The cast of players: the brooding school stud (Matthew Dyktynski), a geeky medical student (Matt Day), two lovely lipstick (black crush) lesbians (Frances O’Connor and Radha Mitchell) and a shy love-sick lass (Alice Garner), spend the entirety of the film running around in a predictable maze of miscommunication that resolves itself at the big house party.
If the plot sounds ho-hum, and it is, the sallow cinematography is even less impressive, but “Love and Other Catastrophes” is not a total disaster. It’s a light comedy, and when being light it often strikes the right humor cords. The thesis about “Doris Day: The Feminist Warrior” speaks for itself, and the frat house vermin puking in the sink as an aghast resident brushes his teeth is a worthy flip from “Animal House.” As the roommates, O’Connor and Garner are confident and Dyktynski exudes a knowing magnetism, but the material’s slightness neuters their passion and ultimately renders Croghan’s concoction a wanting, asexual poser.

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