‘Love is in the Air’ is the name of a brilliant song sung by John Paul Young (written by Harry Vander and George Young) and released in 1978. This song is also featured on the soundtrack of the delightful 1992 Australian movie Strictly Ballroom. Being a fan of both the song and Strictly Ballroom, popular romance author Penelope Janu jumped at the chance to look at a new rendition of Love is in the Air, a brand-new film set in Queensland that’s now available on Netflix.
Love is in the Air stars the delightful Delta Goodrem as Dana, the chief pilot of an aircraft freight company owned by a much larger English company. William (Joshua Sasse) is the handsome son of the chairman sent to close the airline down. After quite a few take-offs and landings (best enjoyed by the viewer while stretched out on a divan on a balmy summer’s day) Dana and William fall in love.
This movie has received lukewarm (and worse) reviews, but there IS good in it if you look hard enough. Being a seasoned romance reader and writer, looking hard is what I do, but for the sake of balance I’ll present elements that worked for me and a few that I wasn’t quite so sure about.
Sandy white beaches, clear blue skies, rippling aqua oceans, a thousand shades of green and a tropical landscape—is breathtaking. And while sometimes the green on my screen was possibly too green to be real, anyone who has travelled to the Whitsunday Islands in far north Queensland will know that it really is a beautiful part of the country. William’s father calls Australia ‘the arse end of the world’ at the start of the movie—the scenery throughout (particularly in contrast to the sepia-toned London footage) makes his line particularly ridiculous!
The plot—girl likes boy, boy likes girl, girl finds out boy is there under false pretences, boy is sorry—is somewhat predictable, but it’s Dana who sorts things out in the end (in terms of the romance and the future of the airline). Our Dana doesn’t need a boy to rescue her!
The two main support actors were EXCEPTIONALY GOOD. Comedian Steph Tisdell plays Nikki the plane mechanic with flair and humour. She’s funny and beautiful and I loved every minute that she was on the screen! Roy Billing plays Jeff, Dana’s father. You might recognise Roy as the offsider of Jack Irish in the TV series of the same name (on a side note, I’ve been in love with Guy Pearce, who played the title character in Jack Irish, since before he was famous).
From a romance perspective, I thought William could have fought harder to save the airline. But … this weakness led to a strength in the movie—Delta sticking by her principles and never giving up.
Neckties are much less common than they used to be (particularly in tropical Queensland!), so William’s insistence on keeping his tie tightly knotted until the final scenes suggested he lacked the emotional intelligence to work out a tie should no longer be a part of his wardrobe. Then again, in the final scene, Delta is wearing pilot stripes and a tie … I guess this means she’s in charge, but we know that already! And don’t get me started with the high heels on her boots. Is that allowed if you’re piloting a plane?
The ‘com’ in rom-com
A favourite funny (though it wasn’t meant to be funny) line is towards the end of the movie, when Dana finds out that William is only in town to shut down the airline. William says, “Give me the chance to show you that I can get this business back on its feet and that it has legs.” Or words to that effect. What on Earth?
During a cricket game, Dana hits William for six, which pretty well sums up this movie because I wasn’t convinced that William was the right man for Dana. On the other hand, she’s up in the air in a brand-new plane in the final scene and he’s on the ground with a clipboard, so maybe he is the wind beneath her wings after all.
Overall … for a light-hearted romance with beautiful scenery and endearing characters, Love is in the Air is worth a watch. It might also be worth reflecting on afterwards (preferably while sitting on a deckchair with a tropical drink in hand).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Penelope Janu
Penelope Janu lives on the coast in northern Sydney with a distracting husband, a very large dog and, now they’re fully grown, six delightful children who come and go. Penelope has a passion for creating stories that explore social and environmental issues, but her novels are fundamentally a celebration of Australian characters and communities. Her first novel, In at the Deep End, came out in 2017, followed by On the Right Track, On the Same Page, Up on Horseshoe Hill, Starting from Scratch and Clouds on the Horizon as well as a novella, The Six Rules of Christmas. Penelope enjoys riding horses, exploring the Australian countryside and dreaming up challenging hiking adventures. Nothing makes her happier as a writer than readers falling in love with her clever, complex and adventurous heroines and heroes. She loves to hear from readers, and can be contacted at www.penelopejanu.com.
Don’t miss Penelope’s upcoming book Sunshine Through The Rain
For readers of Karly Lane, Fleur McDonald, Maya Linnell and Rachael Johns – a heartfelt and fresh rural romance about trust, hope and finding your place in life from an award winning and much loved author.
Country vet Primrose Cartwright knows more about heartache than most but in the close-knit community of Ballimore, she’s found a place to call home. Prim has her work and the love of her sisters, and she doesn’t need anything else – certainly not Blake Sinclair.
The new vet in town, Scotsman Blake has a love-them-and-leave-them reputation. He is curiously protective of Prim, but his privileged upbringing and jet-set life are nothing like her own. Prim has tried – and failed – at the dating game. Even if there’s a burning attraction between them, the last man she could ever trust is Blake.
Blake finds Prim fiercely independent, vulnerable, and unlike any other woman he has ever known. But Prim won’t tell him her secrets unless he tells her his own, and Blake’s pain is buried deep.
Will Prim’s determination to unravel the mystery that threatens her career bring Prim and Blake together or tear them apart? As the storm clouds gather, can Prim and Blake confront their painful pasts and create a future together? Will they find the sunshine through the rain?