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Australia 2010
Directed by
Daina Reid
107 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

I Love You Too

Synopsis: Jim (Brendan Cowell) is a happy-go-lucky bloke in his 4th year of a relationship with Alice (Yvonne Strahovski). In their early 30s Alice is ready to settle down but Jim still wears a Spiderman watch and hangs out with his best mate (Peter Helliar).

Let’s face it, the audience for I Love You Too is largely going to be people who can’t get enough of popular TV comedian Peter Helliar. I don’t know his work on the small screen so I can’t tell if they are going to be pleased by this, his feature debut, but I can’t imagine them being over-enthused. For the rest of us there are simply too many things that niggle to allow us to enjoy it much

Written by Helliar, I Love You Too is standard rom-com fare. Although there are occasional good one-liners and there is an overall air of laconic Aussie charm, it’s far from roll-in-the aisle material and the cut-and-paste elements are little too obvious. The rom-com is by nature formulaic so that is not inherently a problem but given that it is overwhelmingly a chick-targeted genre there seems to be one glaring mis-judgement here and that is not just the casting of Brendan Cowell in the lead but the conception of his character. Cowell, who is so good in other contexts, such as the currently screening Beneath Hill 60 is simply not a romantic lead and has little comedic flair. With his Mr Potato Head looks and a ‘do that looks like a mop that has been dipped in sump oil, it is very difficult to see why the babelicious Yvonne Strahovski’s Alice would fall for his Jim. And as Jim drives miniature trains and lives in a granny flat what else is there? And what do we, the audience, want to see?  A hunk, of course  Tip for the filmmakers. If you’re going to try to make an Antipodean Love Actually, get yourself an Antipodean Hugh Grant. As it turns out the makers got Peter Dinklage and his scenes have a quality that those without him largely do not -  credibility.

Playing Jim’s best mate, Helliar initially seems to be uncertain whether he’s Ricky Gervais or Jack Black but as the film progresses he settles down and is quite funny in an improbable kind of a way as a big fat loser. Indeed another of the problems with the film is that both Helliar and Cowell seem too way old, even for the child-men they are supposed be playing.

If the film is for the most part OK-ish it is ultimately one that has you sighing to yourself “when is this going to end?” as a ludicrously mawkish denouement leads us to the inevitable happy ending. I Love You Too is a minor work destined to join the legion of so-so Australian film comedies.




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