This article revisits the 1993 Australian feature film The Heartbreak Kid, in order to examine three unexplored and interconnecting facets: the representation of the female teacher as object of desire; the classroom as an erotically charged arena; and the outcome of the sexual relationship between the protagonists, the young teacher, Christina Papadopoulos, and her seventeen-year-old male student, Nick Polides. The discussion draws on a recent analysis of a similar real life case, in order to show how the film advances a different reading than the current laws encompass. In showing the student's considerable agency in the affair, and in not criminalising the teacher's unethical behaviour towards him, the film contradicts the outcomes of the real case in 2004.
Journal of Australian Studies Vol. 33, Issue 4, p. 405-415