How much can one say about a film that they truly loved? I find it much easier to write about the ones that are bad; not the ones that are badly made but entertaining in their earnestness, but the ones that Hollywood keeps churning out to a worldwide audience that grows exponentially. The ones that Karl Marx might today call the opiate of the masses; although I, having experienced both, am here to say that opiates are much more enjoyable than "Die Hard 9" or any film with Jerry Seinfeld providing the voice of a bee could ever be. I could just get off my soapbox and let it go, but the tragedy is that most Americans are f'ing idiots who, by substituting Hollywood's audience tested, product placed, fast food promo'd exercises in greatest common denominator blandness for any real and meaningful interaction with their fellow humans, make it so insanely profitable for the film INDUSTRY to churn out these movies that they lead other countries who previously produced great "small" films like Love Serenade into a sparkling future of uncompromising blandness.
Fortunately Australia, probably through the sheer good fortune of being so far away from the USA, has not been bitten as hard by the bug as, say, Great Britain has (and I am a certified Anglophile - please UK, turn it around before it's too late!). They still make films like this one in Oz today, and, speaking of this one, I am supposed to be reviewing it, right? Blowhards on soapboxes going off-topic are almost as bad as bland Hollywood movies! But any time that I start to give my countrymen the benefit of doubt I hear something like "America's favorite singing rodents" - so perhaps at worst you can grant a terminal malcontent his eccentricities and at best stop giving the bloodsuckers your money?
So- back to the subject at hand. This is a great movie! I loved everything about it. I'd have to say that the fish sub-theme is biggest stretch here, but it was not obtrusive and seemed to fit, sort of, in some way that will probably hit me at 3am on some sleepless night in the future. I like fish, anyway; I mean to look at them. I stopped fishing because I felt bad about killing them, although I did eat them and wasn't some a-hole on the pro bass fishing circuit (think about those four words for a moment - when did we become a people that needs a pro bass fishing circuit?) who found his American dream at the expense of the dream of a lot of fish. Yeah, they release them, but how would you like to be repeatedly jabbed with a hook and pulled from your house, unable to breathe while people did strange things to you, then released only to have it happen again, every year like clockwork; while a bunch of loud and strange machines fly about overhead and make your eyes burn and everything smell bad? And of course many of those fish swallow the hook and die, or die from the stress. So a bunch of fat morons can get rich and famous. We're not talking one guy standing on the shore with a fishing pole here. What's NOT for sale in America? OK soapbox guy emerged again, sorry! But the fish topic is relevant here. For a movie that's not about fish, it's about fish a lot. Characters: Ken Sherry - talk about love/hate. I alternately thought he was sorta cool (he wasn't, but I am an Anglophile, remember?) and a slimeball (he was). The girls, I'd never heard the name Dimity before but if I ever have a daughter I'm gonna name her Dimity. I like it. And yes, she IS odd. Her sister is annoying, but not TOO annoying. Both are cute to look at and likable in their ways. Albert is the sleeper here. Just about everything he said was gold. And I swear to you - I have had the urge to break into "Wichita Lineman" for absolutely no reason before, and have. Long before I ever saw this film. Did I tap into some universal unconscious "Wichita Lineman" thing? Who knows? But I do know that that soundtrack was excellent. Spot on. And Ken's semi-profound soliloquy? I knew where it came from, but if you don't then you will be quite surprised if you ever do find out (it's not credited but it is on an album by a famous person).
If you prefer pirate Johnny Depp to Dead Man Johnny Depp, don't bother with this movie. Actually you are probably not even reading this, and if you are reading it, you have no idea that I've been making fun of you the whole time. You and I have absolutely nothing in common. But I will give you some great advice - you'd enjoy a couple of hours at Wal-Mart a lot more than you would watching this. For the rest of you, enjoy it. And a bit of knowledge about the end (which I did not know until later) makes it all the more poignant. RIP.