A young aussie comes of age...

I guess coming of age stories are their own genre. Pehaps it was Porky's or Stand By Me that broke the barrier from story to genre. To me a genre picture can follow the well established framework of the genre and not have to take many risks. For instance, the modern dance genre is particularly droll: skilled partner is forced to dance with unskilled partner; they dislike each other initially and their frustrations are carried from practice to competition; they grow to like each other, possibly becoming involved; finally, they succeed at the "big" competition.

The coming of age story has it's own framework to: geeky, outsider child faces adversity; introspection occurs; some sort of love interest ensues; geeky child becomes respected by their peers.

Flirting doesn't stray too far from this formula. The interesting thing about Flirting is the stable of actors involved. We have Nicole Kidman as Nicola, Thandie Newton as Thandiwe, Noah Taylor as Danny, and Naomi Watts as Janet.

Danny is mostly at the center of this story. He attends the all boys boarding school. Across the lake is Thandiwe at the all girls boarding school. Danny is a young intellectual. He day dreams of Jean Paul Sartre and Cassius Clay. He falls for the 'outsider' Thandiwe and together they must endure the ridicule of their peers.

A little dryer and more realistic than most American attempts at the same genre, Flirting is an enjoyable film mostly because of Newton and Taylor's performances. They are believable and charming.

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