Australasian Cinema > films >
Lex and Rory (Dean Murphy, 1994) Angus Benfield, Paul Robertson, Fiona MacGregor, Stewart Faichney
Different for being normal, reaching for the unattainable, Lex and Rory inhabit a unique world in a garage full of gadgets and dreams. Dai and Nikki are best friends, two girls who seem to have it all. Two guys who need girls, two girls who need heroes. Lex and Rory is a film about love, growing up ... and maybe the meaning of life.
I've never been able to see this. Adrian Martin did, and his 1994 review is still available on his site. I'll steal the whole thing, in case his site goes down before mine does, tho it's more likely to be the other way round.
Viewers and critics unfamiliar with rather distinctive conventions of the teen movie genre are likely to find aspects of Lex and Rory puzzlingly unreal.
A contemporary teenager who croons Perry Como tracks? Corey Haim established this retro-taste in License to Drive (1988). A pair of lads who appear to live in their very own techno-playhouse without parental supervision? Remember, Christian Slater launched a brilliant career as a pirate radio broadcaster from the confines of his family bedroom in Pump Up the Volume (1990).
Director Dean Murphy and his collaborators appear to know the genre pretty well. The film mixes a love story born over the phone – with Lex (Angus Benfield) hiding his true identity, like a teen Cyrano de Bergerac – with a string of silly physical gags reminiscent of the oeuvre of Savage Steve Holland (Better off Dead, 1985).
A strangely misplaced piece of melodrama between Lex's true love Dai (Fiona MacGregor) and her forbidding father (Stewart Faichney) gives the project a touch of Twin Peaks (1991).
Since this is an Australian teen movie, however, it has a pleasingly daggy, down-to-earth mood. The endless New Age affirmations about chasing one's dreams and becoming a success might sound OK in an American celebration of sporting success, but here they seem a mite contrived.
Lex and Rory works better as a modest celebration of the joys of suburban life, in the vein of charmingly low-key teen movies such as Seven Minutes in Heaven (1985) – complete with a spotlight trained on Lex and Dai as they kiss on a front lawn, and a snazzy red car to take all the main characters away to the big city in the final shot.
© Adrian Martin September 1994
Bernard Hemingway at cinephilia.net.au didn't like it. Here's his whole review:
An inauspicious first feature for Dean Murphy, this independently-funded teen romance of sorts is so devoid of both wit and style that one can only wonder that it was ever released at all. No doubt derived from the writer/director’s own experience it tells the story of a gauche (but incongruously good-looking) high school student (Angus Benfield) and his feeble attempts to win the girl of his dreams (Fiona MacGregor) with the help of his best mate (Paul Robertson).
From the dire script to the lame acting, the pedestrian directing to the tinny pop music the film is at best television filler material and even then ...
The IMDb stats show that only 32 people rated it - and you'd expect a dozen of them to be cast and crew and families - and even then it only gets 5.5. I'll quote the two people who bothered to give it 'user reviews'.
A sweet, charming little film.
I saw Lex and Rory after a friend recommended it too me. I must admit I had no interest in seeing it as I know it was a no/low budget Australian movie made by a couple of 20 year olds. Is there a worse kind?! But I've got to admit I really enjoyed it. I thought is was a really charming little film with some great new faces (whatever happened to these guys?) It made me laugh out loud several times and I must admit I cried a little at the finish - something I rarely do let alone in an Australian movie. While Lex and Rory is not the greatest film of all time - in a word it is 'Lovely'.
aliens, a guy and a girl in love. Bizarre.
Gave it 2 out of 10. Low budget film, so must be congratulated for their efforts. Also, some of the best product placements seen in a film in a long time. But this trash proves, once and for all, it starts with the script ...
OzMovie review - page unobtainable, but this bit out of it appears in the Google search: “Lex and Rory is a teen flick with real heart and soul, putting to shame most Hollywood equivalents, with its honest charm and wonderful wit” - Peter Castaldi
Screen Australia page.
SBSondemand has a link to a review of the film, but it doesn't work. In fact, it has two links, but this second one doesn't play either - at least not on this iMac. I think they've both expired.
Garry Gillard | New: 27 December, 2019 | Now: 29 December, 2019