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Australia 2012
Directed by
Ted Emery
86 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Sharon Hurst
3 stars

Kath & Kimderella

Synopsis: Kath (Jane Turner) wins a holiday to the tiny Italian kingdom of Papilloma. When her husband, Kel (Glenn Robbins) declines to come, Kath is accompanied by self-absorbed daughter Kim (Gina Riley) and Kim’s second-best friend, Sharon (Magda Szubanski). The women end up as guests of King Javier (Rob Sitch) who hopes to seduce Kath and steal her supposed money. The king’s son, Julio (Erin Mullaly) sets his sights on Kim who he believes is a princess. When Kath and Kim’s jealous blokes back in Oz get wind of what’s happening, they decide to come and burst the fairy-tale bubble.

The foxy ladies of Fountain Lakes are bigger than ever in a full length movie that combines elements of several classic fairy-tales with a Ocker sensibility that fans have come to love in the TV series. I have to out myself as one such fan. I really enjoy this style of lampooning, intentionally low-brow Aussie humour which has its antecedents in films like Muriel’s Wedding, The Castle and, going even further back, The Adventures Of Barry McKenzie.  Needless to say, not everyone will feel the same.

Whilst I enjoyed the rather silly blending of fairy-tale elements with the bogans-abroad plot, the real treat was seeing Turner and Riley strut their stuff, with Kath’s usual malapropisms and self-righteousness, and Kim’s familiar self-centredness and reprehensible behaviour. There are plenty of one-liners to amuse and the two lead actresses are so adept at bouncing off each other that we really believe in them.

Prue and Trude (also played by Riley and Turner) are there and,of course, it’s great to see Szubanski again on the big screen as the hapless Sharon. Robbins as Kel is, as always, wonderfully cringe-worthily, engaging in some dubious swordplay, wielding his butcher’s accoutrements, with Javier. Rob Sitch is a stand-out as the king, with the look and the accent to charm and amuse. On the other hand Brett (Peter Rowsthorn), does nothing new, while Richard Grant just didn’t make me laugh with his camping it up and the gay jokes are a bit laboured. Choosing to shoot in Italy on the Amalfi coast instead of using home-built sets, gives the film a professional and glamorous look.

I had a good time with Kath & Kimderella. Perhaps I was in the mood for something unchallenging, perhaps I just wanted to relive a TV show that I really loved writ large (and this is largely where the film’s audience will come from). Although I was left with the feeling that as a whole the film is less than the sum of its parts – great gags, slick look, but too much having been crammed in - the upside is that the pace seldom lags. 

If you are even a mild fan of the TV series, load up on popcorn and choc-tops and treat yourself to a really “noice” time with a mother and daughter who are unequivocally Aussie, often as dumb as a box of rocks, sometimes as smart as a tack, and great fun to watch.




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