Chicago Film Festival 2018: Flammable Children

Darcey Wilson as Melly Jones and Julian McMahon as Rick Jones in Flammable Children

Flammable Children, while released as Swinging Safari in its native Australia, takes us back to the 1970s for a nostalgic comedy.

The nostalgia starts the moment that “Spirit in the Sky” starts to play during the opening credits.  It’s from this point where writer-director Stephan Elliott wisely introduces us to the people in the neighborhood along the beach.  We’re introduced through Jeff Marsh (Atticus Robb), who serves as the narrator.  We soon meet the Halls, Jones, and Marsh families.  Before we know it, a blue whale beaches itself.  It’s an exciting moment for the children.  As for the parents, let’s just say that they decide to get it on in their own special ways.

The film takes its name from Jeff Marsh and Melissa “Melly” Jones (Darcey Wilson) from having been scarred during election night.  Henceforth, they were known as the “flammable children.”  Growing up, Melly was Jeff’s crush in grade school.  She was a girl who made the decision to appear invisible from everyone.

I had some chuckles here and there in viewing the film.  I’d be happy to give this film a second look should it ever get a proper theatrical release here in the States.  This is probably because I viewed as a screener rather than on the big screen.  Comedies play better while viewing with an audience.  On the other hand, the hair and makeup, costume and production designs do a spectacular job with recreating the time period.

CAST:  Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue, Radha Mitchell, Julian McMahon, Asher Keddie, with Jack Thompson and Jeremy Sims

Flammable Children screens during the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival in the Spotlight: Comedy program. A U.S. distributor has not been announced.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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