KATH & KIMDERELLA
Fountain Lakes' foxy ladies Kath (Jane Turner) and her divorced, know-it-all suburban daughter Kim (Gine Riley) are joined by their best friend Sharon (Magda Szubanski) on a dream trip Kath has won. The destination is a tiny Spanish kingdom in the boot of Italy, where they meet the locals: King Javier (Rob Sitch), his page Alain (Richard E. Grant) and a young semi-masked fellow who is introduced to them as Prince Julio (Erin Mullaly). Romance - and a Royal wedding - beckons ....
Review by Louise Keller:
Embracing everything that has made them into home-grown TV stars with their unique brand of Aussie humour, Kath & Kim's foray onto the big screen is an endearing and hilarious romp that nurtures character as it skilfully weaves its narrative into an improbably fairy tale.
Whether you're a fan or you've only just discovered the considerable talents of Gina Riley and Jane Turner, Kath and Kimderella has broad appeal - in line with their humour. There's a certain truth and sincerity that the characters exude - albeit exaggerated - but to which we can relate because they reflect many of those who make up its audience. Winking and nudging its audience as it goes, you can be assured of a laugh a minute in this sparkling true blue frolic that goes from the suburbs in Fountain Lakes to a grand castle in Italy with magnificent views.
It takes no time at all before the opening credits to learn (or be reminded) exactly what are the characteristics that make Kath and Kim unique. Kath (Turner) with her trademark frizzy blond hair is the perennial foxy lady, who finds a way to slide through life painlessly, while her brattish daughter Kim (Riley), with the long hair, pout and attitude, is a bit like Miss Piggy - everything is about 'moi'. Turner and Riley have written a clever script crammed with business. It's filled with all kinds of humour - visual and scripted - with one-liners galore and clever references that range from politics to wart ointment.
You have to hand it to them, the name of the fairy tale destination of Papilloma (supposedly in the boot of Italy), is delivered with a straight face. In fact, all the humour is delivered straight, which allows us to believe in the reality that is created.
The sight of Kath, Kim and Sharon (played with puppy-like enthusiasm by the irrepressible Magda Szubanski) as they arrive at their Italian destination decked in Italian designer gear, is one to cherish. Rob Sitch is seriously good as the suave King Javier with the Cruella DeVil hair colouring and whose obsession with shoes plays out in fine form. Richard E. Grant is supremely funny as the poker-faced man behind the man behind the man on the throne.
Movies, fairy tales, TV shows and musicals all get their fair share of satirical references, but the big laughs come from the delivery. There's a funny bit involving Glenn Robbins who goes to the hypnotherapist to lose his fear of flying but finds a side-effect that involves taking off his clothes. Watch out for a surprise cameo by Barry Humphries as Dame Edna Everage.
But the film belongs unequivocally to Turner and Riley, whose chemistry, comic timing and sheer bravado is highly contagious, leaving us uplifted and well satisfied by the outing.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
As perhaps one of the few social cave dwellers who has never seen the TV series that is now a comedy brand, Kath & Kim, I beg your patience as I try and get up to speed here. The established characters that inhabit this K& K world bring their ready made characters and terrible, tasteless outfits to the big screen, with all the brazen bravura of the smug yet recognisable Australian suburban people they are meant to be. For fans, this means a shortcut to the humour. For me, it's a bit of a slow start.
Once we are on location, the scenery takes over as the centre of my interest, as David Parker's all-seeing camera swoops and sneaks and probes the gorgeous landscape. Parker's work is superb on the interiors, too; classy and clean. Production design is outstanding which makes the film easy on the eye - if harsher on the ear, due to the famously imperfect language skills of the lead characters. If you know them, I need say no more; if you don't, I can't possibly do them justice here in text.
The traditional rules of thumb (for film reviewing) hardly apply in this unique cinematic version of the Kath & Kim world, where nuance is as foreign as good taste. This is a comedy brand now, its trappings as well sold and well oiled, the comedy as broad as a meadow and the satire as pointed (but not as acidic) as Dame Edna Everage's - she turns up for an all-too brief cameo.
Richard E. Grant is great as the snooty Alain and Rob Sitch steals some of the show as the flamboyant, bankrupt, cruel King, sporting a mane of hair tinged with grey and a well practiced seduction routine aimed at Kath. His castle is splendid and it's a credit to the filmmakers that they grounded this oversized comedy in a glorious location. Did I mention the gorgeous views?
The preview audience loved it, but it's strictly for the fans, of whom there are millions. It isn't my kind of humour, but I appreciate the teamwork and it fulfils its promise. The Kath & Kim brand rules.
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KATH & KIMDERELLA (PG)
CAST: Jane Turner, Gina Riley, Magda Szubanski, Glenn Robbins, Peter Rowsthorn, Rob Sitch, Richard E. Grant, Barry Humphries
PRODUCER: Rick McKenna, Gina Riley, Jane Turner
DIRECTOR: Ted Emery
SCRIPT: Gina Riley, Jane Turner,
CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Parker
EDITOR: Steven Robinson
MUSIC: Paul Mac
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Penny Southgate
RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 6, 2012