Saturday, May 26, 2012

Paperback Hero, a Review by Lea

It’s me, back again. Surprisingly, the door wasn’t slammed and bolted from the inside after the last post so I’m taking that as a good sign. Fingers crossed the door stays open after this post :D
I was undecided as to what to do for this post but hit on the idea of doing a movie review but I suppose it will ultimately turn in to a love fest for the Hunk that’s featured. Two birds, one stone, yada yada yada... Let me preface this though by saying that I can’t really write reviews worth a damn but I’ll try.
Although not my all time favourite romantical movie, this comes pretty close. “Paperback Hero” is an Aussie flick starring the very scrumptious Hugh Jackman and the lovely Claudia Carvan. I liked the chemistry between the two leads and found it very believable. They bounce off each other quite nicely and although you can predict what’s going to happen almost from the outset, the journey to reach the final destination is anything but boring.
The premise of the story revolves around the publishing of a ‘romance novel’ – not quite a bodice ripper but close, if the excerpts read throughout the movie are anything to go by. Not very interesting you say? It is when it’s being written by Jack (Hugh), a rough and ready, tough as boots larrikin who drives road-trains for a living.
No-one knows of Jack’s secret and he’s quite happy about that. He’s quite content to let everyone believe he’s nothing more than a lovable truckie, happy to share the cabin of his rig with his best mate Lance – a mutt who fancies himself a Sinatra aficionado. Only problem is now the publishers want to put a face to the name and promote her as the next big thing.
No, not a typo; I meant her. You see, Jack was happy enough to write the stories, using himself and those around him as ‘inspiration’ but he submitted them to the publishers under the name of Ruby Vale. Not only is Ruby not his name, it’s the name of his best friend’s fiancé and a woman he has a ‘I don’t really like you but I don’t really hate you either’ kind of thing with.
Aside from owning the little ‘cafe’ in this no horse town, Ruby flies a crop dusting plane and in the opening scene of the movie, it shows her ‘buzzing’ Jack in his truck, spraying some kind of chemical. She laughs and flies off, he pulls the rig to a screaming halt and curses the day she was born. The tone of the movie is set.
The banter between them as they jibe each other with putdowns and witty retorts does little to hide the fact that deep down you know they like each other. It’s been done before in other movies – the leads start out as frenemies and end up as lovers but I totally enjoyed the ride from A to B in this movie.
There are of course several other characters that each put their own little shine on the movie. Hamish, the docile and lovable vet who’s been engaged to Ruby for several years (you find out why in the movie); Suzie, the woman running the cafe for Ruby, who has a bastard of a husband; Ziggy, the man eating publicist who has come in search of Ruby.
Its Ziggy showing up that starts all the problems. She wants to take the next big thing in romance writing back to the big smoke for a big promotional tour, hoping to make a fortune. Imagine Ruby’s surprise when Ziggy tells her of the plans and she has no idea what’s going on. Enter Jack, who fills her in.
Rather than spoil it for those who want to watch (and I really can’t review without giving it ALL away lol), let’s just say that Jack, Ruby and Ziggy all go to Sydney for the promotion, with Ruby pretending to be herself and it’s here where things come together for the leading couple.
A few drinks, a karaoke version of “Crying” and a frozen turkey all lead to a kiss that reveals the true feelings of those involved. Mind you, it’s a good 30 minutes later before we get to the good bit and the teary ending but you can’t help but sit there and keep fingers crossed that they will wake up and smell the romance. And they do – happy ending. Oops, sorry, spoiler alert! :D
I really do love this movie. Like Muriel’s Wedding and Strictly Ballroom before it, it is so ‘Aussie’ you can’t help but love it. No big CG special effects, no outrageous storylines with monsters and aliens, just basic love stories told from the heart. Sometimes it’s nice to just watch a simple movie and not have to think too much or be bamboozled by all the action happening around the lack of story.
The fact that Hugh was in this movie just made it more wonderful for me. He was perfect for the role. I totally bought the idea of him being a truckie but with a warm and tender side. Putting someone like Russell Crowe in the role would have been just too much and totally absurd.
I’ve been a fan of Hugh’s since before he was really famous, having seen him perform at “Carols by Candlelight” one year in Melbourne. Of course it was only via the tele but I got goose bumps and totally fell in love with him then and there. I love his singing and so when he sings in this movie, well, I got a little teary. I will even go out on a limb and say I prefer his version of Crying over the Divos. It’s true I tell you!!
There are many other things to love about Mr Jackman of course. Good looks and talent aside, he’s a genuinely nice guy, funny, loving and totally devoted to his wife Deborah Lee Furness and their two kids. He also studied here in Perth, at WAAPA – Perth, for those of you who don’t know, is on the other side of Australia, where life does exist outside of Sydney (sorry, pet peeve there).
I also love the fact that he IS Australian, born and raised, unlike some others – namely Russell, Nicole, Mel etc. Sure, we love them too (well, I don’t like Nicole but taht’s not for here) but it’s not the same as having grown one of our own who has now made a name for themselves. If that makes sense.
I’ve loved most of his movies, although I don’t like his look in Wolverine – too hairy lol. Another romantic movie he made that I adore is “Kate and Leopold” with Meg Ryan. Of course he does the action well too but I suppose for me, he’s jsut the perfect romantic lead. I have no doubts he has his flaws but I choose to ignore them.
Anyway, I could go on but I won’t. Don’t forget, the aim of this is to stay in good with the Old Farts, not give them reason to lock that door. Let me just leave you with a couple of piccies, so you can see what I mean about Hugh. Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Lea, we'll never lock the door on you. And especially when you supply pics of the hunky Mr. Perfect. He sings! He dances! He's hot as hell!

    I want to see this movie now. I hope Netflix has it...

  2. You had me at "Strictly Ballroom." Off to look for this...

  3. Lori, he does sing and dance very well and looks very sexy. That's it - I'm gonna base all my writing hero's on him now.

    If I start writing again... lol. As it is, I'm gonna have to update my wallpaper to add that top picture... it's mesmerizing!

    Willaful, hope you're able to find it. I loved Strictly too :) All that sexy dancing and the mother from hell! LOL. You'll have ot let us know if you get to see it and what you think.

  4. i can't seem to figure out how to embed here in blogland, and I think this video is disabled from embedding anyway, but here's a link.

    It's Hugh Jackman's opening number at the 2009 Oscars, which I loved. Never knew he could sing until then.

    Good review Lea. I love Muriel's Wedding, so hopefully I'll be able to find this one too. :-)

  5. No luck so far, but I've been thinking of signing up for the DVD section of Netflix, so will try to remember for then.

  6. Thanks Carolyn, I loved his opening for Oscars. I stopped watching the show years ago cause it's just... blah and so didn't get to see it 'live' but thank god for youtube :)

    Good luck to all looking for the movie, if you can't find, let me know. Might be able to figure something out... ;)

  7. Lea, I don't think anyone can find it yet. But we have a UBS local that I'll check. And check for Buffy, Season 2 while I'm at it....