TALK features some candid, colorful conversations between two women friends, but it becomes a less interesting film whenever they stop speaking. At least TALK, like 1994's THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT, proves that there are new signs of life in contemporary Australian
TALK examines a day in the life of two women living and working together in contemporary Sydney. Julia Strong (Victoria Longley) and Stephanie Ness (Angie Milliken) reunite after a short hiatus to collaborate on their adult comic book series. Throughout the morning in Stephanie's apartment, the
two friends get little work done, but reveal to one another some important secrets: Stephanie tells Julia that she strongly desires to have a baby, while Julia tells Stephanie that her longtime companion, Mac (John Jarratt), is having an affair. Julia also fantasizes about how, as a comic book
detective character, she will seek vengeance on Mac's mistress (Jacqueline McKenzie) by killing her.
While doing errands around the city in the afternoon, Stephanie and Julia separate for awhile. Julia spends the time both trailing after and angrily confronting a young woman (McKenzie) she believes is Mac's mistress. Later, Julia calls Mac up to tell him their relationship is over. Stephanie,
meanwhile, visits a television repair shop to pick up her set, but ends up having sex with the mechanic, Jack (Richard Roxburgh), presumably to get pregnant. Thus, before reuniting again, the two women resolve some of their bigger problems in the course of a day.
TALK belongs to the women's "buddy" film subgenre, but it is less action-oriented than THELMA AND LOUISE (1991) and much less "soapy" than BEACHES (1988). Instead, TALK--as its title fully suggests--owes itself much more to the dialogue-driven character studies of off-Broadway theater (e.g. A
COUPLA WHITE CHICKS SITTING AROUND TALKING) and foreign films (e.g. ENTRE NOUS, ANTONIA AND JANE) than mainstream Hollywood. As such, TALK succeeds admirably in conveying the sort of natural discussion that would arise between two thirtysomething Caucasian working women who haven't seen each other
for a few weeks. Their talk--mostly about men and sex--is frank, funny, wistful and always genuine.
Unfortunately, TALK also employs a minimal but nonetheless intrusive narrative. Stephanie's climactic sexual encounter with the television repairman is joyously erotic, but the twist ending between the two characters is confusing and superfluous. And Julia's high-charged accusation and break-up
scenes are well handled by actor Victoria Longley, but they leave some mystifying moments of their own. (We never know, for example, if the young woman Julia accuses is actually Mac's mistress.) Also, Julia's stylized revenge fantasies woven throughout the film are less compelling than her angry
real-life reprisals. These scenes just seem like padding.
Finally, TALK is best when the two characters are talking to each other. Perhaps screenwriter Jan Cornall and first-time director Susan Lambert felt obliged to tell a story that would tie the characters' problems together, but they needn't have bothered: this is one movie that would have been
better with all talk and no action. (Violence, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: NR
- Review: TALK features some candid, colorful conversations between two women friends, but it becomes a less interesting film whenever they stop speaking. At least TALK, like 1994's THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT, proves that there are new signs of… (more)