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I'm trying to - and failing spectacularly - to think of a British - or U.S. - equivalent of the titular Barry MacKenzie and his so-called 'adventures'. After being 'required' to leave his native Down Under, young Barry Crocker (MacKenzie), with his Aunt Dame Edna Everage, jet to a fog-bound and freezing Britain (via Hong Kong, where he stocks up on high import duty luxury goods).
Nicely ripping off our UK stereotypes, we see their black cab motor past Stonehenge and then up the M3, to London. Not sure, geographically where the airport was, but as Bruce Beresford's popular filmed version of the comic-strip character that ran in Private Eye never seems to follow logic or reason, this doesn't matter an iota.
From the above over-charging cabbie, who cites windscreen-wiper depreciation and conversation as chargeable extras, the 'hotel' is no better. More sketch-lead than story, it's sporadic, in turns the best, grubbiest Aussie slang and humour but also tedious, lame and stupid.
It's still quite a tonic though, in these days of political correctness, reminding us of our faults as a nation, even if they're obvious targets and during probably our least salubrious decade. Dame Edna, oddly, looks much less feminine than 'she' does now, her voice still not having found its niche and wavers between warbling, mannish falsetto and a sore- throat sufferer. Barry Humphries (Dame Edna, of course) does better as the creepy psychiatrist who interviews Barry, after he suffers a bump on the head and ends up in hospital, but soon discharges him due to being just too much troublesome!
Peter Cook is a wasted opportunity, only appearing as an unfunny TV exec ten minutes before the end and a young Joan Bakewell as the resulting late night's arts programme interviewer/presenter, who gets the blunt end of MacKenzie's subtleties....
Meanwhile, the constantly running joke about 'tubes' (tinnies) of Fosters is a refreshing one, too.
It ranges between 7/10 to two, so five overall is a fair compromise, though on a good day, it could reach 6.
My DVD was part of the 12 disc boxed set, Australian Cinema Collection, to which I gently refer to with my review title.
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