THE FIRST DIVERSE INDIE ROMANTIC-DRAMA (FEATURE) LED BY WOMEN
Get a Life, Alright, the third feature film by director, Joy Hopwood, will have its world theatrical premiere at The Australian High Commission’s (Singapore) Aussie Film Festival from the 17th to 27th March, 2022.
Get a Life, Alright, is Shamini Singhal’s first feature as co-writer alongside Joy Hopwood. A film about a struggling Indian- Australian actor, Nick Singh (Satish Kala) who falls for the leading actress, Tessa Wise (Abril Tolnay) of a music T.V. show after delivering flowers on set. Her best friend, also on the show, Sarah Chen (Aileen Huynh) sets them up for a first date at his father’s Indian restaurant, Ballu’s Bollyfood, played by Here out West’s Sukhraj Deepak. Little do they know that Nick’s jealous brother, Adarsh (Dilshan Rain) tips off journalist, Patrick Pappas (Danny Barton) to run a story about the celebrities in order to gain more publicity for their struggling restaurant. A story about jealousy all thanks to fame and the film highlights the importance of female relationships.
It’s a first to see such a diverse romantic drama musical, led by a team of women, with Joy Hopwood at the helm. Linda Ung (cinematographer /editor), Lara Cross (sound recordist & post sound designer), Valentina Iastrebova (set designer) and associate producers: Shamini Singhal, Meret Hassanen, Cat Dibley & Katrina Olsen.
The music is set in the noughties written by Joy Hopwood & Roy Nicolson, produced by Paul Wiltshire (Back St Boys, Human Nature, Delta Goodrem & Vanessa Amorosi) and the film’s score is by Anisha Thomas & Roy Nicolson.
Like all of Joy’s films, diversity is at the forefront with great performances by not only the leads but the supporting cast: Amelia Conway, Paul Hughes, Yannick Lawry, Dilroop Khangura, Belinda Delaney, Jaimee Peasley, Michael Giglio, Benjamin Hanly, Erica Long, Andrew Wang, Susan Young, Kiki Skountzos, Jay Gordon and Rog Chhabra.
When asked what do you hope the audience’s reaction to be?
“I hope the audiences escape from their every day lives, sit back and allow themselves to be entertained by my films as they’re uplifting and give audiences a sense of hope and joy. I hope they can see what a wonderful group of passionate creatives can do with 1 percent of the budget compared to what they’re accustomed to with blockbuster films. I always hope my films put a smile on their faces when they walk out of the cinema, feeling good about themselves and their lives, as that’s what makes me happy, knowing that I’ve made them happy. With every film, there’s a little part of me; my personal journeys & life’s observations.”
Also Joy’s second film, Rhapsody of Love, has also been selected at the Aussie Film Festival, starring Kathy Luu, Damien Sato, Lily Stewart, Benjamin Hanly, Tom Jackson & Khan Chittenden.
Get a Life, Alright will be having its theatrical release on May 19th, 2022 at Dendy & Wallis Cinemas.
“A great story with a lot of heart!” 4 out of 5 – Andy Trieu (SBS)
“This is a cute and easy to watch rom-com, with the added important elements of representation, diversity and visibility. In a time when the world is getting sick and tired of white beach goers and surfies, “Get a Life, Alright”, ticks all the boxes of being well balanced on the social issue side with a love of emotion and lovey dovey meet cute moments.
The premise of the film is also easy to understand, it’s simple and adds to the depth of the film. The lead is an Indian Australian man – Nick Singh, whose ultimate goal is to be a successful actor, and works odd jobs at a florist and his father’s restaurants to make ends meet. He later falls in love with the lead Tessa Wise, of a TV series he passed an audition for in a guest role, and it’s entertaining to see the character development, but also the romance which is simple, cute and pure.
The film was well written and the scenes flowed fluidly without any plot holes. Back to the issues of representation, diversity and visibility for the on screen – we are able to witness a darker skinned South Asian man (which we rarely see in Australia film and TV) trying to pursue a career which is traditionally not seen as lucrative in Asian families. THIS is probably one of the most significant milestones for the film.
Great film, easy romance and meet cute situations and enjoyable to watch!”
4.5 out of 5 – Erin Chew, Freelance Writer (HuffPost / AsAmNews / FlixAsia and Being Asian Australian)
“If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted rom-com that is set in Australia but doesn’t star any beaches or blondes, you’re in luck. ‘Get a Life, Alright’ is that rare breed of Australian independent films that is culturally diverse without being dark. And the diversity here isn’t just about having a token non- white character who is the funny or nerdy sidekick to the gorgeous male/female protagonists. Diversity is at the very heart of the story as it centres on Nick Singh, a young Indian-Australian man who works part-time at a florist and at his dad’s restaurants while harbouring aspirations for an acting career. He falls for Tessa Wise, one of the female leads in a hit TV series where he also later lands a guest role. Their love story is marred by classic obstacles like envious siblings and miscommunication, but there is a lot of fun and some fabulous musicals on the way to happily ever after.
When exploring non-white cultures in Australian cinema, it is easy to fall into the trap of going for the easily identifiable stereotypes instead of representing diverse characters as full-fledged individuals. The script-writers of ‘Get a Life…’ negotiate this by including some features associated with India, such as Bollywood and curry, but by also being playful with these inclusions. Nick’s dad’s restaurant, for instance, is called ‘Bolly-food’ and Nick’s stint in India sees him starring in a beer commercial.
Overall it’s a great effort at representation and good humour!”
4 out of 5 – Sukhmani Khorana, Writer / Author / Academic
“Joy Hopwood has a penchant for making diverse romantic comedies. Unlike Crazy Rich Asians, where the notch is cranked up to full technicolour decadence, Joy’s films are quiet, charming bubblers filled with rather recognisable, relatable (and Australian) characters. However, this is Joy’s most glamor-set film – a musical drama featuring striking Bollywood numbers. Her main leads Nick (Satish Kala) and Tessa (Abril Tolnay) have a lovely chemistry, and to see the diverse cast was a delight. Without giving too much away, this film highlights the importance of female friendships and of course, the power of love in all its forms. Shamini Singhal and Hopwood paired up as a team to write this comedy, and the viewer can see what a lovely working relationship they had through the sheer joy infused in this production.”
Five stars – Alice Pung, Writer / Author / Screenwriter / Academic