CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY VANILLA (2013)
Directed by Stuart Simpson
Warren Thompson is an ice-cream man. He’s single, has no children, has never had a proper relationship and has a limp. To say life is shit for Warren is a complete understatement. His only highlight of the day is watching soap opera Around The Block and fawning over the lead actress, Katey George, who plays the character of Stacey. His life is at a dead end, forced to serve his ice-cream to the backstreet scumbags or receive a beating, but things begin to look up for Warren when his Around The Block crush visits his ice-cream van whilst shooting an episode of the soap nearby…
CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY VANILLA is an Australian black comedy with a touch of sadness within its dark humour. The tone is firmly set after a horrifying start to the day for Warren involving his pet cat. We know we shouldn’t laugh, but we can’t help it. As his week goes from bad to worse and we see what Warren has to put up with on a daily basis, it becomes quite a tragic tale. His home life is no fun either, resorting to self-pleasuring each time Katey George appears on television or calling up dubious sex lines. Having been bullied as a child and clearly still a target now in adulthood, Warren is painted in a very sympathetic light which makes him instantly likable with his side swept hair, thick moustache, smart white ice-cream uniform, dicky bow and name tag. Each day, he becomes this pityful character who has to serve ice-cream in a tub or cone and each day he puts himself out there to be picked upon or ridiculed by those who do it just because they can. His obsession with actress Katey George is the only thing he has to live for, so when she drops by his van, his dreams of becoming her boyfriend go into overdrive as he documents his quest for love.
CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY VANILLA rests upon the shoulders of Glenn Maynard as Warren Thompson and boy does he do a terrific job. He expertly plays the vulnerable Warren who’s teetering on the edge of his sanity, and shows a diverse range of emotions within his role becoming almost two different people when the situation calls for it. Kyrie Capri stars as Warren’s object of affection, Katey George, who’s also diverse performance in conjunction with Maynard’s will pull at your heart strings. Hounding Warren on a daily basis is thug Rocko (Aston Elliot) who spies the ice-cream man as an easy target to intimidate and exploit, leaving Warren more broken than he was to begin with.
Stylishly shot with a tight knit cast, CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY VANILLA is an unusual but delicious treat of a film that will take you through a range of emotions as we follow Warren’s personal story. Hilarious at times yet horrifying at others, CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY VANILLA delivers a real flavour of unwavering reality for people out there, whilst blurring the lines of its own.