Ruben Guthrie

DRAMA; 1hr 33min

STARRING: Patrick Brammall, Alex Dimitriades, Abbey Lee, Harriet Dyer

Breakfast of champions: Brammall

Fronting up at his first AA meeting after blowing a drunken leap from the roof of his waterfront spread into his pool, flashy ad man Ruben Guthrie (Brammall, of TV's Offspring) is denial in the flesh. “My name is Ruben Guthrie and I am in advertising,” he says. Ruben’s fiancée, model Zoya (Lee), doesn’t find his antics funny and flounces back to Prague, giving Ruben a year to give up and shape up. Which he eventually dearly wants to do, even though his parents (Jack Thompson and Robyn Nevin) are urging him to imbibe, his sober self can barely relate to his debauched best friend (Dimitriades) and his agency campaigns feel alien. It’s enough to drive a man to drink.


Brammall goes for his centre-stage shot with sincerity guns blazing but since Ruben never fully coalesces as an engaging character, director Brendan Powell’s adaptation of his own, intimate play is more effective as a hard look at the quicksand of Australia’s sybaritic drinking culture. The big picture is as disjointed overall as a life wedded to addiction would be, so cheers to authenticity. On the other hand, the contradictions of this life grow harder and harder to watch.