Why the ‘Australian hunk’ is at the heart of a new boom in romance films & More Trending News


The finest title: Sit. Stay. Love, which is about an American assist employee who, on heading house to snowy Vermont for Christmas, has to avoid wasting an animal shelter with a good-looking vet. It’s additionally from the standard sub-genre of Christmas romances.

The poster for Mistletoe Ranch: a Christmas romance about a rising photographer (Mercy Cornwall) who heads back to the small American town she grew up in and finds sparks with her ex-fiance (Jordi Webber).

The poster for Mistletoe Ranch: a Christmas romance about a rising photographer (Mercy Cornwall) who heads again to the small American city she grew up in and finds sparks along with her ex-fiance (Jordi Webber).Credit:Steve Jaggi Company

Another Brisbane manufacturing firm, Hoodlum Entertainment, has made two romantic comedies alongside the identical traces: Stuart McDonald’s A Perfect Pairing (a wine skilled from Los Angeles heads to rural Australia to land a new consumer) and Christopher Weekes’ Christmas On The Farm (a profitable writer heads from New York to an Australian farm to cowl up the lie behind her ebook).

In a manner, they’re (a lot) lower-budget variations of the Hollywood romcom, Ticket To Paradise that Julia Roberts and George Clooney shot in Queensland throughout the pandemic.


Sometimes, the feminine stars are Australian or made their title right here, together with Rhiannon Fish (Home and Away), Tammin Sursok (Home and Away), Georgia Flood (Wentworth) and Mercy Cornwall (Dive Club). But Canadian Cindy Busby (Supernatural) and American Susie Abromeit (Jessica Jones) have each shot two of these films.

The subsequent one off the manufacturing line, Mistletoe Ranch, opens in Australian cinemas subsequent week. It centres on a rising twentysomething photographer who heads again to the small American city she grew up in to avoid wasting Christmas celebrations … and finds a spark along with her good-looking ex-fiance.

Like Sit. Stay. Love, it was shot in Queensland utilizing snow machines to create a wintry panorama.

Jaggi, a prolific producer of younger grownup and romance tasks, says the demand for romances has exploded in the previous two years. “COVID undoubtedly made a huge difference,” he says. “More and more people wanted to watch uplifting content.”

The growth of streaming providers has meant there are additionally new consumers for these optimistic PG-rated films.

“Before COVID, as an Australian company, you tried to make a film that would work for as broad an audience as possible to make money,” Jaggi says. “Now it’s the reverse: if you want to be successful as a business, you make more and more niche content.”

The market contains the American cable channels Hallmark and Lifetime, extra refined romances for streaming providers led by Netflix, and much more refined variations for cinema launch. Largely interesting to an aspirational feminine viewers in journey, Jaggi’s films are set both in Australia, the US or an unique “generic” location.


“Escapist destinations tend to work well with the audience,” he says. “What we find works really well is if one of the protagonists is American and one is Australian. The ‘Australian hunk’ is a good formula.”

Jaggi is now planning 10 to 12 extra romance films in the subsequent two years. He is contemplating diversifying into having a thirtysomething man discovering love, same-sex {couples}, and presumably “steamier” storylines.

While none of his films have Screen Australia funding, they’re all supported by Screen Queensland – both logistically or via regional grants. And most use the nation’s 30 per cent tax incentive (known as the producer offset), whereas giving a break to rising (usually feminine) administrators.

“Australia is a huge entertainment exporter,” Jaggi says. And whereas that has historically been household and kids’s reveals watched by hundreds of thousands round the world, it now contains romances.

*Stan is owned by Nine, which additionally owns this masthead

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Why the ‘Australian hunk’ is at the heart of a new boom in romance films

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