COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 47min
STARRING: Brendan Cowell, Peter Helliar, Peter Dinklage, Yvonne Strahovski, Megan Gale
Likely lads: from left, Cowell and Helliar
Anyone who has seen Cowell in the TV series Love My Way, or more recently on film in Beneath Hill 60, and caught Helliar’s act on TV’s Rove will know that they’re likeable lads. As Jim and Blake in Helliar’s debut screenplay, they’re likeable lads who have never grown up: at 33, Jim drives a miniature train, lives in a granny flat at his Melbourne family home and won’t take the marital plunge with his English rose of three years (Strahovski as Alice).
When Alice dumps him with plans to return to London, Jim is fixated on getting her back. Blake is equally fixated on fun fun fun, which never seems to work out the way he plans, much as the Daina Reid–directed larrikin tone never sparks the way it wants to. The lads do have an introspective bent, with which the screenplay fares better despite drifting into the shallows of corn, while Dinklage strikes a note of poignant dignity as a grieving widower who gets to keep company with a supermodel (Guess Who). This might have sat more cosily on the small screen, where likeable is practically a way of life.