To be honest, I wasn’t planning to see this film. I had a nagging doubt about it that just wouldn’t go away. A doubt that whispered something like, Napoleon Dynamite.

Fortunately I ignored the doubt and just got on with seeing it. If anything the sound-track was worthwhile, let alone the laughs.

I can see why people would associate the two films, but in reality they only have two things in common. First, they’re both geek-flick romantic-comedies. But that’s hardly a bad thing. Geek is the new black. Go on, remember to keep telling yourself that. Second, they’re both unique to the cultural milieu in which they’re set. And yes, only a geek would say ‘cultural milieu’.

I say Eagle is a rom-com not just because it is a funny love story, but because it has some of the key elements. The relatively with-it woman, the hapless bloke, the sidekick, etc. But, it differs from other rom-coms because of that uniquely Kiwi darkness that underlies so many of our films.

The death of our protagonist Jarrod’s brother, the real reason “his life was ruined” (not because he was bullied at school), is the sort of something that you don’t really get in many comedies. It haunts Jarrod and his family, and for me was an unexpected feature of the story.

There’s something about that darkness. It makes our films more compelling, and is probably the main similarity (IMHO) between good Aussie and Kiwi cinema.

So, yet another recommendation. Get out there and see it.

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