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Thursday, 13 January 2005

You and Your Stupid Mate

Everywhere you go across this wide brown land, you’ll find people having a good old laugh. They’re laughing with friends and relatives, they’re laughing in clubs and cafes, they’re even chuckling by themselves at an old joke or funny story they’ve just remembered. In fact, the only place where you won’t find people laughing is inside a cinema showing an Australian comedy. From a distance, the engagingly lowbrow approach of You and Your Stupid Mate holds out the hope that it might be the film to buck the trend. But unfortunately, keeping your distance is probably the best move as far as the adventures of dim-witted buddies Jeffery (Angus Sampson) and Phillip (Nathan Phillips) are concerned. This tale of how our heroes’ personal obsessions (Jeffery wants to save the dignity of axed soap Sons and Surf while Phillip wants to become a star via the Scouts and Guides’ Gang Show) are threatened by the work-for-the-dole schemes of their new case manager (William McInnis) is decently constructed and generally well-acted. It’s also packed with wall-to-wall ‘jokes’ that fall flat thanks to an approach to film-making that values pretty much anything over actually being funny. Writers Dave O’Neil and Mark O’Toole have proved elsewhere that they’re funny guys; maybe elsewhere is where they should have stayed, because this feels more like a film written by guys sitting around going “yeah, the kids’ll laugh at this” than something anyone involved actually laughed at. And be warned: if zero laughs weren’t reason enough to stay away, this also features a cameo from Eddie Maguire that proves that as actors go, he’s a great Collingwood president.

Anthony Morris (this review appeared in Forte #349)

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