A Month of Sundays Adam-Fresco'S REVIEW

Frank (Anthony LaPaglia) is an Adelaide real estate agent whose get-up-and-go has got up and gone. His mum’s died, he’s divorced, and he’s bemused by his teen Emo son, who’s so good at acting, Frank wonders if he should attend “a ‘special’ school… you know for kids who can’t play football”.

Frank has an amusing habit of describing every place he visits in tired real estate clichés, and his boss (played by Fred Dagg himself, John Clarke) matches Frank’s dark and self-deprecating humour. Frank may be an Aussie bloke - bored, detached, living alone, down on his luck, and stuck in a job he’s not proud of - but he’s no self-pitying sad sack. LaPaglia plays him with a disheveled charm and sardonic wit.

Things take a turn for the odd when pensioner Sarah (Julia Blake), misdials a call to her son, and gets Frank instead. The pair strike up a friendship, and before Frank’s actress ex-wife, and TV soap-opera doctor, Judy (Justine Clarke), can say “stat”, Frank learns a house can be a home, with sentimental as well as dollar value.

More akin to writer/director Matthew Saville’s TV dramas than his excellent movie Noise, it’s unshowy to the point of drab. Scenes often feel like theatre, but it’s the acting that makes this drama with a lightly comic touch a warm and enjoyable tale of ordinary people, with ordinary concerns of family, grief, work, relationships and, well, the mundanity of being ordinary. A tough sell, but it’s real Aussie charmer, well worth seeking out.