Don's Party (1976)
A delightfully morose and humorous deconstruction of married life in the wake of the sexual revolution, set in Melbourne on election day 1969. The political aspect to the story is just as insignificant to the film as the election eventually turns out to be for most of these characters. What really concerns and consumes them is how disappointing their marriages, careers and lives as adults have turned out to be. Generally speaking, the guys want to sleep around more, and the gals want to be loved more. And every single one of these couples are locked in a struggle for control over their own and their partner's sexuality. There's an inevitable conflict between the basic human feeling of jealousy and the new morality established by the sexual revolution, claims playwright turned screenwriter David Williamson. A realization that might ring truer for most viewers than they'd care to admit. Which is why it's nice to see these bunch of characters admit it for us, although they don't seem to become any wiser or experienced in the process. Director Bruce Beresford (later of Tender Mercies and Driving Miss Daisy) infuses his film with just the right amount of spite and mockery, but there's also a warmth deep down below which ensures the viewing never becomes unpleasant or hopeless. Don's Party is a valid study of universal, timeless themes which has aged surprisingly well.