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By Michael Dequina | February 15, 2001

Harry Sinclair’s romantic fantasy is certainly likable, not to mention beautiful to behold. On a dairy farm in the picturesque New Zealand countryside live Lucinda (Danielle Cormack) and Rob (Karl Urban), a young couple perfectly in love–perhaps too perfect, for Lucinda is happy yet hardly ecstatic when Rob pops the question. So at the urging of friend Drosophilia (Willa O’Neill), she starts fights with Rob in order to enjoy the added spark that can only come after anger and reconciliation. But Lucinda appears to cross a line when she sells his precious cows. Needless to say, this fairy tale-like story is quite quirky, but what starts as a dollop of eccentricity and whimsy grows into something that overwhelms the charming performances and romance. Effective touches of magical realism, namely a mysterious old woman (Rangi Motu) who plays a key role in Lucinda and Rob’s relationship, end up taking a back seat to flat-out strange ones, (such as a golf team involved in some strange scheme to rob the townspeople of their quilts), thus obscuring the emotions of the piece.

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