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Australia 1985
Directed by
Denny Lawrence
93 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

Emoh Ruo

Emoh Rou is a well-intentioned comedy that addresses a core theme in Australian society, the pursuit of home ownership ("Emoh Rou", as Uncle Les Tunkley played by Phillip Quast, explains is Australian for "Our Home"). Although having a good deal to say about the suburban dream that rings true in principle as its little Aussie battler couple, the Tunkleys (played by Martin Sacks and Joy Smithers), pull out all stops to get out of their caravan park digs and into their Xanadu, this satire of sorts is made on what is evidently a limited budget and with a limited amount of a skill (although its cinematographer Andrew Lesnie would go to win an Oscar for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 2002)

The script, by first-timers, Paul Leadon and David Poltorak, is a piece-meal affair whilst director Lawrence, whose work before and after this has been largely in television, struggles to create any sense of credibility with such an under-resourced production. Although starting off well enough and with the occasional amusing line buried in the banal delivery, the material gradually deteriorates into a series of more-or-more-often-less successful gags that in the spirit of Barry McKenzie milk the beer-and-barbies cultural stereotypes of the period. Even lovers of '80s Downunder kitsch, and there's plenty of it here, will have trouble enthusing over it.




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