Australia’s darling, Miranda Tapsell, has added another creative notch to her belt. This year sees her as co-writer, associate producer, and star, of the glorious rom-com Top End Wedding.
Co-starring Gwilym Lee (last seen as Brian May in Bohemian Rhapsody), Top End Wedding tells the story of up-and-coming lawyer, Lauren, and her less ambitious lawyer boyfriend, Ned. After deciding to get married in a hurry, Lauren tells Ned that she wants to return to her Country for the wedding. Arriving in Darwin, they find that Lauren’s mother has gone awol, so the race is on to find her, and get the wedding organized in time.
Combining the genres of romantic comedy and road-movie, Top End Wedding makes the most of the breathtaking scenery.
Eric Murray Lui‘s cinematography embraces the beauty the eponymous region provides, including Kakadu, the red heart, and the Tiwi Islands.
Tapsell and co-write Joshua Tyler have crafted a tight, sophisticated and witty script. Delivering this is a superbly cast group of actors including Kerry Fox, Tracy Mann, Matt Crook and Ursula Yovich. Huw Higginson is especially wonderful in the highly comedic role of Lauren’s father. Director Wayne Blair appears to have given his actors some room in which to play, and this lightness pervades the work, giving it just the right touch.
Other than the one annoying aspect (which is that you can’t get married in ten days in Australia without special dispensation…!), this is an utterly adorable piece of film-making: funny, warm, quirky, joyfully lacking in the usual stereotypes, and full of rich Tiwi culture. It is almost impossible not to love this film.
Top End Wedding is set to become another Aussie classic in the tradition of The Castle or Muriel’s Wedding. I have no doubt it will spawn new tropes for our collective consciousness.
You’ll never listen to If You Leave Me Now, the same way again…
Top End Wedding opens tomorrow, May 2nd.