GARAGE DAYS has many sweet, funny moments, aided by a knockout soundtrack, but it also has extreme adult content, including explicit sex, nudity, strong foul language, and lots of depicted drug use. The sweet moments are unable to mask the stench.
An Australian movie, GARAGE DAYS tells the story of four wannabe rock stars in Sydney trying to find a nightclub to feature their band. The leader of the group, Freddy, finds out it’s harder than it looks because many of the local bars and nightclubs have been transformed into small casinos with slot machines. The band finally gets a gig, but their goofy, balding manager, Bruno, who loves 1960s Tom Jones songs, sends the band’s crowd of supporters to the wrong place.
Making matters worse is the mixed-up love lives of the band members. Freddy and his girlfriend, Tanya, who plays bass guitar for the band, are having problems, and there is tension between Joe, the depressed lead guitarist, and his girlfriend, Kate, who likes to write lyrics for Freddy’s songs. Joe is having a hot affair with a ghoulish girl named Angie, who keeps talking to Joe about the fascinations of suicide. When Freddy and Kate suddenly discover a mutual attraction, their romance is cut short when Kate finds she’s pregnant with Joe’s baby. The news of her pregnancy awakens Joe out of his suicidal depression. He starts carrying around a cantaloupe melon as a surrogate baby to show Kate that he truly cares.
Interspersing these comical hijinks are scenes of sexual lust and many “f” words, plus some other bad elements. For example, there is a sexual scene between Freddy and Tanya before they break up, sex scenes between Joe and Angie, and sex scenes between Tanya and Lucius, the band’s drummer, who discover they have a mutual interest in sadomasochism. There are also several drug scenes, some played for comical effect, as when Lucius accidentally spikes the band’s drinks with LSD when the band goes to Tanya’s parents for money to cut a demo tape of their music. Furthermore, Freddy’s long-time friend Joe is clearly a disturbed individual, even though he eventually overcomes his suicidal tendencies by the end. This drama, and the drama of Kate’s pregnancy, add a level of seriousness to the comedy, which, however, has some ghoulish moments.
Despite the heavy sexual content and drug scenes, the filmmakers aim for a light touch regarding the film’s other elements, such as the band’s attempts to break into rock and roll stardom and the budding romance between Freddy and Kate, which remains chaste during the movie. Livening things up are the movie’s clever cinematography and editing transitions and its use of popular music, from a quirky song by David Bowie to ballads by Tom Jones to catchy love songs from the 1960s and early 1970s era of pop rock. In fact, GARAGE DAYS has one of the best pop rock soundtracks in recent memory.
It’s too bad, therefore, that the filmmakers and their backers decided to make a hard R movie that probably should even be rated NC-17. The unique setting, characters, and filmmaking techniques deserve better than to be relegated to the fringes of the lewd movie ghetto. Especially since the movie seems to have an anti-abortion and anti-gambling message buried within it, as well as a warning about some of the shady characters involved in today’s popular music scene. Regrettably, many teenage viewers may be attracted to the movie’s youthful pop music setting.
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Lindsay Law, President
Fox Searchlight Pictures
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SUMMARY: GARAGE DAYS, an Australian movie, tells the story of four wannabe rock stars in Sydney trying to find a nightclub to feature their band while they try to navigate the pitfalls of their crazy love lives. GARAGE DAYS has many sweet, funny moments, aided by a knockout pop rock soundtrack, but it also has extreme adult content, including explicit sex, nudity, strong foul language, and lots of depicted drug use.
(RoRo, Ab, B, LLL, VV, SSS, NN, A, DDD, M) Romantic worldview, with two demonic references to Satan showing up during illegal drug highs, and moral element where man risks losing his dream career to save a troubled friend’s life; at least 105 mostly strong obscenities, eight strong profanities, four light profanities, man passes gas, obscene gesture, and people vomit after taking a certain illegal drug; some fistfights, men in koala bear costumes fight, man smashes slot machines, gruesome scene where woman lies in red liquid in bathtub as if she’s been murdered or committed suicide, vehicles chase moving van, and attempted suicide with pills; scenes of depicted fornication, depicted sadomasochism, nude dancing, and implied oral sex; upper female nudity, rear nudity, upper male nudity, semi-nude dancer, revealing female shirts, and women in bras; alcohol use; smoking, illegal drug use, drug hallucinations used for comic effect, sale of illegal drug, reference to Prozac, and attempted suicide with sleeping pills; and, miscellaneous immorality such as man poses as environmentalist collecting money in order to get money for band.
GENRE: Romantic Comedy/Musical Comedy