I have seen Dating the Enemy a good twenty times at least and am finding it extremely hard to think of things to write, despite having written a lengthy essay about the film only six months ago. The film itself might look like a simple body swap story line, but when discussing specifics about the characters, it takes a bit of extra effort to note whose body is being used at the time.
They end up getting together at the end of the party, and then the film moves forward one year into the future. Brett and Tash still together, but the situation has quite obviously changed. The film depends a lot on the acting of Claudia Karvan and Guy Pearce as they are essentially playing their opposite gender for most of their screen time. As mentioned on Urban Cinefile, the acting was not just that of the stereotypical gender roles but something more realistic.
Different viewers of this film may interpret the conflict in the story differently from one another. Most commonly the conflict would be seen as how are Tash and Brett going to return to their regular bodies?
The first time I saw this film, when I was only thirteen, and this is how I saw it. Watching it four years later with a different view on life, I began to see the film quite differently. It is not just about whether or not Tash and Brett will get their own bodies back and live happily ever after together, but also about the willingness of being able to explore alternative sexualities. If Brett and Tash could not get along with each other, who would they sleep with?
This question is actually explored during the film, as explained more in depth in my previously mentioned essay. This is where the complications arise, and questions about sexuality are raised. The synopsis I found on the WebSPIRS database reads, "A romantic comedy about a couple that wake up one morning to find themselves in each other's bodies. The message of the film is quite simple - wouldn't it be great if men could understand women's lives from a woman's point of view, and women could understand men's lives from a man's point of view.
Guy Pearce from Priscilla is featured. Both authors of the reviews I read seemed to consider Dating the Enemy to be a fairly average film and also commented on the believability of the characters after the body swap. I would also like to comment on the fact that as there was a very small number of reviews, and the lack of a significant online presence, it is quite obvious that not very many people actually cared for the film at all.
And with the box office figures, discussed under the next heading more in depth, it could be said that it did quite poorly because of poor reviews and media representation. Unfortunately I could not find further information relation to the circumstances of the production.
As far as I can remember, and because I cannot find anything relating to advertisements around the time of the film's release, there was very little marketing at all to encourage Australian's to see Dating the Enemy at the cinema.
If I had seen something, I would no doubt have been keen to see the film on the big screen, but the only marketing I can recall to encourage people to see the film did not occur until it was released on video. Video Ezy had gained the exclusive rights to lend the film to their customers and used that fact to advertise on television and in the stores themselves.
Compared with other Australian films, Dating the Enemy did not do very well at the box office. Dating the Enemy was up against Now and Then Glatter, , Matilda DeVito, , amongst other films that may not have been as interesting to those who would enjoy Dating the Enemy the weekend it opened. Prior and Subsequent Projects for the Cast and Crew Megan Simpson Huberman, the writer and director of the film, has not worked on any films subsequent to Dating the Enemy, but did direct the film Alex prior to Dating the Enemy.
After using a few search engines, I was able to find very little information about Simpson Huberman's subsequent work given that she has not been working on films. Cinematographer Steve Arnold on the other hand, has worked on a number of film prior and subsequent to the release of Dating the Enemy. All Men Are Liars is similar to Dating the Enemy also as the main plot line has a male pretending to be female. Since this film, Karvan has gone on to star in such other films as Paperback Hero Bowman, , Strange Planet Croghan, and Risk White, , not to mention having one of the leading roles in channel ten's award winning drama The Secret Life of Us Hodgman, As for films they were in prior to the release of Dating the Enemy, Pearce was one of the drag queens in Priscilla: With actors from films with the acclaim those two films received, there probably should have been a wider release than was actually achieved.
An interesting thing to note is that the producer of Dating the Enemy, Sue Milliken, is on the ScreenWest Board that supports films produced and made in Western Australia. Prior to the release of Dating the Enemy, Milliken produced Sirens Duigan, , a film that also explores alternative sexualities, though it is more obvious in the attempt.
And the most recent film project she worked on was the television miniseries My Brother Jack Cameron, that even co-stars Matt Day and Claudia Karvan. Dating the Enemy in reference to the value of Australian film This film is not a good example of what Australian filmmakers can achieve given the minimal release and subsequently not reaching a wide enough audience. I know I have enjoyed and appreciated this film over the past five years but I certainly would not recommend it as an example of Australian film if someone wanted to get a good handle on deciding whether or not to watch more Australian films.
Judging by the rating of 6. Since I enjoyed the film, and actually consider it to be in my top ten favourite films of all time, I am probably not the best person to judge the quality of this film compared with others without taking into consideration the views of other people.
It does not seem any more successful now than when it was first released, whereas some films with similar unique Australian humour like The Castle Sitch, seem to grow in popularity. I have personally found this issue explored in some films that may not ordinarily be seen in such a fashion. Films such as Picnic at Hanging Rock Weir, and Proof Moorhouse, but have also found sources that agree with my view. With such an acclaimed cast, it is a bit of a wonder why this film is not seen as valuable as films like Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and Muriel's Wedding Hogan, Instead it sits on the shelf with Australian films that only seem to be cherished by a select amount of people like Mr Accident and Yahoo Serious' other films.
Given the synopsis I quoted in the second paragraph, Dating the Enemy is more of a women's comedy and is probably quite disinteresting from a male's perspective.
It was written, directed and produced by females, much like The Monkey's Mask Lang, was, and by the very nature of that film, it also happens to be one of the Australian films that explores alternative sexualities. It's also a very female film. References I have to reference some of my previous work as it intertwines with this review.