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Australia 2006
Directed by
Clayton Jacobson
97 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


As did Paul Hogan with Crocodile Dundee (1986) and the Working Dog crew with The Castle (1997) the Jacobson brothers, Clayton and Shane, hit the jackpot with this amiable comedy that celebrates the iconic blue collar Aussie battler without falling into the crass stereotypes of the Ocker comedy,

Shane Jacobson plays Kenny Smyth whose job is delivering porta-loos to outdoor events. We follow him around documentary-style as he goes about his business, all the while reflecting on the nuances of his much-maligned but essential service to man and womankind. His good nature is further demonstrated by his relationship with his prickly ex-wife.

The comedy comes from the contrast between Kenny’s charmingly self-deferential philosophising and the ignominy of his thankless job with Jacobson thoroughly engaging in the central role. All this is seamlessly integrated with real events such as the Melbourne Cup (the crassness of the crowd is well contrasted with Kenny’s stoical professionalism).  Keeping it in the family, Jacobson paterfamilias Ronald adds notes of wry humour as Kenny’s dyspeptic dad who has no time for his son’s chosen profession whilst Kenny’s son is played by Jesse Jacobson.

The film loses its comedic steam somewhat once Kenny is sent to Nashville to a Cleaner and Pumper Expo and is given a tentative and rather unconvincing romance with an airline stewardess (flight attendant it you will) played by Eva von Bibra).  Nevertheless for its first half at least Kenny is an unexpected pleasure.




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