Australian Council on Children and the Media

Top End Wedding

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Not recommended under 15 due to sexual references, coarse language and substance use.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Top End Wedding
  • a review of Top End Wedding completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 May 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 15 Due to explicit sexual references and coarse language this film is not recommended for children under the age of 15.
Children aged 15 and over. Ok for this age however parents should be aware that this film contains explicit sexual references, coarse language and substance use.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Top End Wedding
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Coarse language
Length 102 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

After getting a promotion at work, Lauren’s (Miranda Tapsell) workaholic boss Hampton (Kerry Fox) gives her ten days to organize and celebrate her wedding to fiancé Ned (Gwilym Lee). The couple head to Darwin to surprise Lauren’s family but the surprise is on them as Lauren arrives home to learn that her mother Daffy (Ursula Yovich) has just left her father Trevor (Huw Higginson). Unable to get married without her, Lauren and Ned set off through the Northern Territory to try and find Daffy and bring her home. Meanwhile Lauren enlists Hampton’s help to organise her father and friends, who are making a complete shamble of the wedding preparations. While her boss negotiates cakes and flowers, Lauren and Ned negotiate the ups and downs of their unique relationship and, in the end, they do not get the wedding that they planned - they get something infinitely better.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family estrangement and inter-cultural marriage.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Ned and Trevor have a tussle in the pantry, shoving each other. They stop when a glass breaks and Trevor has to pull a long shard out of his foot.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

  •  There are no scenes in this film that would frighten children under the age of five.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • There is nothing in this film that would frighten children between the ages of five to eight.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • There is nothing in this film that would frighten children between the ages of eight to thirteen.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • The film contains nothing that would frighten children over the age of thirteen.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • The Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel was featured in the film.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Hampton tells Lauren that Ned’s “gum nuts” are shrinking.
  • Lauren is asked when she is due as soon as she and Ned announce their wedding.
  • Lauren’s hen night involves drinking lots of alcohol through straws graphically shaped like penises and eating a “penis cake”. There are numerous referrals to the penis cake.
  • One of Lauren’s girlfriends tells another that she wouldn’t know a cake if it landed between her legs. The girl then retorts with: “At least I got things landing between my legs.” She proceeds to list the men she has had between her legs.
  • Another of Lauren’s friends tells Lauren’s dad not be sad about his wife leaving. She recounts some of her sexual exploits and elaborates on how one began like a Disney film and ended with a XXX rating.
  • There are rumours about the sexuality of the French Helicopter pilot. 
  • Lauren discovers that she has a gay uncle and numerous other gay relatives. One uncle, whilst giving Lauren a tour of the Tiwi Islands, makes sure to point out all the 'hot spots' where he takes her other uncles at night time.
  • Hampton gropes Ned while trying to grab his mobile out of pocket and he calls out “Hey you’ve got my testicles.”

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • After Ned proposes Lauren jumps into his arms and they fall onto the couch kissing passionately. When the scene resumes Ned is sitting in his underwear and Lauren, who is wearing a sheer see through shirt that falls open a bit at the front, has a tussled look and the shirt reveals a bit of cleavage.
  • A scene from Die Hard, where a blood covered Bruce Willis is passionately kissing a woman, is shown.
  • Lauren and Ned are shown naked photos of Daffy and a French Helicopter Pilot who, as rumour has it, have shared a night of wild, intoxicating, love making. The pilot later tells them “I never experienced such a night of repressed sexual passion.”

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • There is frequent drinking throughout the film, at home, in bars, while watching TV and games, at the wedding, etc.
  • Trevor drinks excessively and there are empty beer bottles all over his house when Lauren and Ned arrive.
  • Lauren’s mother is arrested for smoking marijuana.
  • Photos at the end of the movie show wedding guests secretly drinking from hip flasks when it is meant to be a dry wedding.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • There is repeated use of “Shit!”, also “Bitch,” “Fuck it,” “Fuck off,” “Mother fucker,” “Skank,” “Ass,” “Dick,” and “Crap” are used on occasion. The rude finger is also brandished about from time to time.

In a nutshell

Top End Wedding is a romantic comedy about families, intercultural marriages and the challenges of relationships. The acting is excellent, the cinematography is beautiful and the cultural elements are shown in a respectful and endearing manner. This is not a family film however and will best be enjoyed by older audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that life is an adventure, that it is never too late to right a wrong and that if you follow your heart long enough it will lead you home.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • Forgiveness
  • Determination
  • Love

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of responding to phone calls when your parents ring and keeping communication lines open, especially when the topics are difficult to discuss.

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