Whoever thought there was promise in this story idea should have baled out at script stage and saved a million dollars or so. Emotionally inert and with the pace of a dying draught horse, it's intended to be a love story, but there's hardly any love and even less story.

Taylor plays Heidi, who has been raised by her mother in Nevada, and comes Downunder for her estranged father's funeral in country Victoria. Here she runs into orange grower Michael (Dimitriades), who is plainly nursing some sort of deep grief.

This obvious fact eludes the self-absorbed Heidi, who, for reasons never made clear, decides to hang around for some of the picking season and - well, that's it really. Some fruit gets picked amid a lot of longing glances and coruscating lines like "I don't really know you, but I feel like I do".

Irritating improbabilities abound: orange-picking season is mid-winter but everyone's sweltering in the heat; Heidi's only luggage, a small satchel, apparently contains several changes of clothes and footwear, including heavy knee-length boots. But character is even more confused. Heidi and Michael, who inhabit a chemistry-free zone, are entirely unreadable.

They sigh a lot and stare into space. At one point, Heidi, angrily packing to leave, is interrupted by one of the pickers who gauchely hits on her; she gently rejects him - and decides to stay.

The final shot is good, though that may be just because it arrives. And the orange groves are pretty. That's Mildura for you.

Cast: Rachael Taylor, Alex Dimitriades, Susie Porter, Jacki Weaver, Nathan Phillips, Angus Sampson, Cassandra Magrath
Director: Richard Gray
Running time: 113 mins
Rating: M (offensive language)

Stars: 1.5/5
Verdict: Chemistry-free zone

- TimeOut