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Rough Diamonds Review

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A snooty woman-from-the-city has her car disabled by a cattle rancher and is forced to bunk down at his. The mismatched pair struggle to overcome their differences until they discover their shared passion for country music.

★★★★★

As Donovan's debut star vehicle this slushy episode comes pretty much as expected, trading off his good looks and Aussie background to predictably bland effect.

The blond ex-Neighbour plays Mike Tyrell, a Queensland cattle farmer whose truck sideswipes the swish Mercedes driven by snooty city lady Chrissie Bright (Milliken), forcing her to rough it at his ranch while the limo gets a body job. Soon enough, the movie deposits the standard culture-clash humour and mutual incomprehension between the leading pair.

Without much in the way of surprise, it turns out Mike is not such a hick after all. No, he's a sensitive and troubled guy, battling repossession of his farm and given to strumming country and western ballads. As formula would have it, Chrissie happens to be an ex-country singer restrained by her marriage to a stuffy lawyer.

Very soon, they're duetting and gazing deep into each other's eyes as the great Antipodean country glows in the background. And when Mike is jailed for slugging the bank manager, Chrissie hitches up the trailer and totes his prize bull off to the Brisbane Show where it scoops the Championship.

Since in plot terms that's pretty well it, this shallow fable is stretched out with some half-baked comedy and bouts of moony singing and guitar twangin', treacly enough to pour over waffles. Meanwhile, most of the quality acting comes from two tonnes of walking pigroast called Kooroomba Banjo.

Slushy, shallow fable with some nauseating songs. A few comic moments but the prize pig is probably still the best thing in it.

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