Reviewed by GREG KING
Director: Marc Gracie
Stars: Nathan Phillips, Angus Sampson, Rachel Hunter, Madeleine West, William McInnes, Dave O’Neil, Samir Malik, Tayler Kane, Eddie McGuire, Reg Gorman
There is a very good reason why local audiences are reluctant to pay good money to see Australian comedies in the cinema. And, if past efforts like the recent The Extra and last year’s dire and dreadfully unfunny A Man’s Gotta Do were not reason enough, now we have the terribly laboured You And Your Stupid Mate, which heralds a new low in screen comedy. The film is being marketed as an Australian version of Dumb And Dumber, although, according to publicity, “very charming and with a lot more heart.” This is so bad it even makes the misguided sequel Dumb And Dumberer seem like a comic masterpiece.
The dimwitted duo at the centre of this film are Phillip (Nathan Phillips, whose career has been on a steady downhill slide since his breakthrough role in Australian Rules) and Jeffrey (Angus Sampson). Life long friends and slackers, the pair survive by doing odd jobs around the caravan park in which they live, while trying to avoid their employment case manager Peter (a hammy and over the top performance from William McInnes). Phillip is rehearsing for his small role as part of the chorus at the forthcoming boy scout talent show. Jeffrey is also the facilitator of the unofficial fan web site for their favourite tv show, the awful soapy Sons And Surf.
But when the pair learn that, not only is the show to be axed but that their favourite star (soapy star Madeleine West, from Neighbours) is to be killed off, they hatch some desperate schemes to try and save the show. They start by interrupting the Logies and bustling aside a very embarrassed and dumbfounded looking Eddie McGuire (who really should have known better!)
What starts as a promising idea with some potential quickly degenerates into an embarrassing series of flat and forced gags that do little to elicit laughs. Some of the film’s best moments revolve around the duo’s efforts to cope with a range of jobs forced on them by their unemployment agency. But the longer the film drags on, the more laboured it becomes, inducing more groans of disbelief than laughs. The climactic scene, which should have been full of energy and humour, falls flat, thanks to some uninspired direction from veteran tv director Marc Gracie (Take Away, The Craic, etc).
You And Your Stupid Mate was co-written by Dave O’Neill, who also scripted the genial but ultimately disappointing The Nugget. What is wrong with our comedy writers? Is it that hard to write amusing situations, funny dialogue and killer punch lines? This is 86 minutes of my life I’ll never get back! Don’t you waste your precious time or money on this absolute turkey.