The Romantic Epic… Back in Business at Last?

Australia starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman

My name’s Heidi and I’m a Romance Junkie. So you’ll know how excited I was to get to my local cinema last Saturday and see the trailer for the new Baz Luhrmann extravaganza, Australia. We’re talking Hugh Jackman looking heroic on a horse, Nicole Kidman looking stunning in the middle of a monsoon plus fire, thunder, monsoon, social upheaval, bodice-ripping romance and the wonderful world of Oz lovingly filmed in vibrant Technicolor by the man who made Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris look like an explosion in a glitter factory in Moulin Rouge! (In fact Baz did such a good job adding even more of a wow factor to the wide open spaces of the Outback, the Australian Tourist Board have employed him to do their latest campaign ads).

Finally, I thought, the large, loud, lumbering, passion-soaked epic love story is back in fashion  — unless of course Luhrmann’s film flops when it hits cinemas round the world this Christmas (but we’re not even going to go there) — and about time too. Because, let’s face it, for those of us who love a good wallow (and are fairly partial to Hugh Jackman too) it’s been a heck of a long wait.

Gone with the Wind

Now let me jump on my soapbox a minute and point out that Gone with the Wind is THE biggest grossing film of all time (yup, that’s right, bigger than The Dark Knight when you figure on inflation). Romantic fiction is THE biggest selling section of the commercial fiction market and yet the epic movie romance has been pretty much deader than a dodo since Julie Christie practiced her puppy-dog pout on Omar Sharif in Doctor Zhivago.

Why? Because they’re too expensive to make? Too girly? Too easy to take the mickey out of? Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. The point is, thanks to our man in Oz, they’re making a comeback and I for one will be first in line for a ticket. After all, don’t we all need a bit more lurve in our lives (and Hugh on a horse is not to be sniffed at either).  Anyone else looking forward to the film they’re already dubbing the Antipodean Gone with the Wind?

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