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When Love Comes Review

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Minor 70s pop diva whose US career has run aground returns to native Aukland after she discovers she's pregnant only to become embroiled in the romantic misadventures of her gay confidant.

★★★★★

Abandoning the hypnotic psychosis of his deranged Gothic debut, Jack Be Nimble, New Zealander Garth Maxwell has here fashioned an uninvolving melodrama that mixes music and emotion to largely soporific effect.

Rena Owen, so impressive in Once Were Warriors, is reduced to camping it up as a minor 70s pop diva whose career has run aground on the US cabaret circuit and whose love life has resulted in her impregnation by a commitment-shy loser.

The last thing she needs, on returning to her native Auckland, therefore, is to become entangled in the romantic misadventures of her gay confidant, Simon Prast, who is hopelessly devoted to songwriting ex-rent boy Dean O’Gorman, who is, himself, trying to launch a grungy girl band. Devoid of charm and credibility, it rather serves the characters right that they end up enduring a tackily contrived soul-baring weekend at the beach.