Palm Beach

‘Palm Beach’ is an Australian film taking its cue from other works such as ‘The Big Chill’. A gathering of friends who meet for good times but end up with personal dramas being aired isn’t anything new. The way this is told is how you judge a movie’s success. Directed by Rachel Ward, ‘Palm Beach’ generally rises above the clichés to deliver a story as enticing as the title’s locale.

Frank (Bryan Brown) and his wife Charlotte (Gretta Scacchi) invite a group of friends, including Billy (Richard E Grant), Leo (Sam Neill) and Doug (Aaron Jeffrey) over to their idyllic Palm Beach home. Looking forward to several days of good times, what transpires is anything but. Old secrets and rivalries surface as the group grapples with the hand that fate has dealt them.

Despite having much light drama, ‘Palm Beach’ is an amiable film for a certain audience. There’s not much to worry viewers with the soft melodramatics deftly intertwining with gentle humour. The ensemble cast are pros at this type of film with their thespian muscles barely stretched. They give as much as the script allows with genuine chemistry shining through the screen.

The real star of the show is the gorgeous Palm Beach location. Ward successfully ensues she wrings much from the scenery as possible. This add to the lightness she wants to convey. The soundtrack adds immeasurably to the fun atmosphere, conjuring a party mood amongst the dramatics.

Those wanting escapist viewing without having to think too much will enjoy ‘Palm Beach’. The veteran cast do a fine job delivering the soufflé of a screenplay. It’s enjoyable seeing the Australian landscape used so well with more films like these sure to bring even more tourists to our sunny shores.

Rating out of 10: 7

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