From ABC Radio National: An English lad marrying an Australian girl from a well heeled family invites his English flatmates to support him and be best men at his wedding.
The latest film from Stephan Elliott gives us very broad, sometimes crass comedy, and many jokes about drugs and a kidnapped sheep.
Xavier Samuel plays David, who meets Australian Mia on a Pacific Island. Jonathan Biggins plays her pompous father, a senator devoted equally to his prize ram Ramsy and the idea of founding a political dynasty.
The standout moments are all with Olivia Newton-John, who steals the show as the mother of the bride, and the resentful wife of a politico husband. When she’s onscreen the whole thing lifts. She still has an extraordinary magic.
There are some nicely wrought bit performances, but I guess I just didn’t take to The Lads. The screenplay is by Dean Craig, who also wrote the wonderful comedy Death at a Funeral.
If you compare the two, what made Death at a Funeral funny was the restraint of director Frank Oz, who let people get into their characters and then let the absurd situations speak for themselves.
The direction here is encouraging everyone to go way, way over the top: I’m afraid I have to agree with an English critic who wrote: this is the Stephan Elliot of Welcome to Woop Woop, rather than the Stephan Elliot of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
But hey… if your taste runs to lots of crass: it may give you a good night out. At least to see Olivia Newton-John swing from a chandelier. It’s rated MA.