3 stars
True love never runs smooth
First performed on stage in Sydney in 2006, Alex Lykos’s play Alex & Eve is a modern rom-com with an uplifting message that is very timely. It has now been adapted for the silver screen by the playwright himself and is the second feature film by well-known TV director Peter Andrikidis, whose previous movie The Kings of Mykonos also took a tongue-in-cheek look at multiculturalism in The Land Down Under. It is refreshing to have a few laughs at our society at a time when ethnic and religious differences are being used for political ends and Australia’s successful multicultural society is under attack. In a recent interview, Richard Brancatisano (Underbelly) who plays Alex, opined that the current dissent that exists in Australia, “…is not just between the Aussies and the immigrants, it’s between immigrants and immigrants.”

If you envisage West Side Story meets The Graduate, you’ll get the gist of this romantic tale. It is not a rare occurrence for people from different ethnic backgrounds to fall in love and in this case we meet Alex, of Greek heritage, who is a teacher in his mid 30s (and pretty spunky too!) and Eve (Andrea Demetriades – The Principal), a gorgeous lawyer hailing from a Lebanese/Muslim background. They meet in a very funny, almost slapstick, scene in a bar with a fabulous view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In fact, Sydney has never looked better and the ‘Emerald City’ features heavily in the film. The cinematographer, Joseph Pickering, who also comes from a television background and has often worked with Andrikidis, has captured the most stunning, crisp shots of the harbour and other picturesque locations. It augurs well for Sydney tourism if Alex & Eve sells overseas.

As in all good yarns about love, there is a barrier to the couple’s happiness and in Alex & Eve it is trying to convince their parents that it is not necessary for either of them to marry someone from their own cultural backgrounds. This, of course, is like showing a red rag to a bull. Alex’s father George (Tony Nikolakopoulos - Predestination) is a bullish patriarch who tries to tell everyone around him what to do and how to think. His wife Chloe (Zoe Carides - Mystery Road) is slightly calmer and seems to be a little more tolerant. On the Lebanese side, however, the roles are reversed: Eve’s mother Salwa (Helen Chebatte - All Saints) is the one who calls the shots, while her father Bassam (Simon Elrahi - The Principal) is more moderate and better informed about the changes in society. Needless to say, when the two families come together for a meeting at Eve’s parents’ home the ensuing drama is hilarious.

Although “true love never runs smooth” as the song says, there are no prizes for guessing how it all turns out but it is interesting to note that, even though the script is cliché ridden at times, it does get to the crux of the matter in dealing with some very pertinent cultural differences. Alex & Eve is well cast and the lead actors are both physically appealing, which helps to add charm to the film. The supporting actors flesh out the story substantially and Neil Thumpston’s lively editing keeps the action moving at a clip. There’s a lot to like about this sunny, bright film. At the very least, it serves to remind us that we have more in common with each other than many people would like to think.


Previewed at Sony Theatre, Sydney on 9 October 2015

Richard Brancatisano
Andrea Demetriades
Tony Nikolakopoulos
Zoe Carides
Helen Chebatte
Simon Elrahi

Peter Andrikidis

Alex Lykos



87 minutes

October 22, 2015
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