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Paperback Hero Review

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A trucker moonlighting as a romantic novelist gets into trouble with his pseudonym when he pens a best seller.

★★★★

Rough and ready trucker Jack (Jackman) drives across the Australian outback with his trusty hound and a clipboard by his side. And every time there's a lull he scribbles snippets of a trashy romantic story. Jack sends off the dog-eared manuscript to a Sydney publisher not expecting to hear back. But - surprise! - the publishers think it's going to be a best seller, and a skinny, pretentious Ziggy (Angie Milliken) arrives to get him to sign on the dotted line. At this point Jack lets best pal Ruby (Karvan) into his secret mainly because, to save himself a ribbing from his macho peers, Jack has used her name as his pseudonym. But for crop-spraying pilot Ruby, being convincing as a budding author is going to be difficult.

It's easy to guess what happens on their journey but it's so honest and likeable and the relationships so warm and real, the predictability soon turns to familiarity. Great cinematography captures the spectacular scenery and the directing is as assured as the stimulating array of characters. Jack, while suffering a hygiene problem which stems from sleeping with pooch in his lorry's cab, is not the typical all-brawn-and-no-brains type, and strong but sympathetic Ruby doesn't need high heels and lashings of make-up to be sexy.

In essence, writer-director Bowman has parodied his handsome hero by creating a surprisingly well-rounded female character, and spinning a good deal more watchability than you'd otherwise expect.

Great cinematography captures the spectacular scenery and the directing is as assured as the stimulating array of characters.