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The Coca-Cola Kid (1985)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 14 July 1985 (USA)
An eccentric marketing guru visits a Coca-Cola subsidiary in Australia to try and increase market penetration. He finds zero penetration in a valley owned by an old man who makes his own ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(screenplay), (additional dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Terri
...
T. George McDowell
...
Kim
Kris McQuade ...
Juliana
Max Gillies ...
Frank
...
Bushman
Paul Chubb ...
Fred
David Slingsby ...
Waiter
Tim Finn ...
Phillip
Colleen Clifford ...
Mrs. Haversham
Rebecca Smart ...
DMZ
Esben Storm ...
Country Hotel Manager
Steve Dodd ...
Mr. Joe
...
Marjorie
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Storyline

An eccentric marketing guru visits a Coca-Cola subsidiary in Australia to try and increase market penetration. He finds zero penetration in a valley owned by an old man who makes his own soft drinks, and visits the valley to see why. After "the Kid's" persistence is tested he's given a tour of the man's plant, and they begin talking of a joint venture. Things get more complicated when the Coca-Cola man begins falling in love with his temporary secretary, who seems to have connections to the valley. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A movie felt never so refreshing!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 July 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Coca Cola Kid  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The nick-name of Becker (Eric Roberts) was "The Coca-Cola Kid". See more »

Goofs

Becker takes his glasses off twice when Terri's husband enters the office. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cabin Steward: G'day ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Australia.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Catering: 'Kaos' (Highly recommended by the whole cast & crew) See more »

Connections

References Lemonade Joe (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
(uncredited)
by Thomas Payne Westendorf
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sneaky like a pigeon drop. (spoilers)
6 September 2005 | by (Orlando, Florida) – See all my reviews

I started watching The Coca-Cola Kid with the assumption that it would be like other Australian comedies I have seen in which a gung-ho businessman of some sort wants to change a rather dogmatic, traditional industrialist like 'Spotswood' or, in reference to homeowners, 'The Castle.'

And true, that is the initial plot in 'The Coca-Cola Kid.' Eric Roberts plays an efficient Southern businessman who plays a key role for the Australian marketing department for the Australian headquarters for the Coca-Cola Company. While trying to assess the markets and potential successful marketing ploys, he learns that there is a large portion of a rural section of Australia that has no Coca-Cola distribution whatsoever and he wants to know why.

Enter lovable and genuine old-timer, T. George McDowell, who has his own successful and self-sufficient coke company which monopolizes the area. It is the last of its kind and Becker, who cannot simply fathom any section of the world that has no option of Coca-Cola beverages (he even goes so far to say that freedom cannot be established without global presence of Coca-Cola) intends to compete with McDowell. But, McDowell, used to the frequent visits from Coca-Cola marketing executives who try to make deals (and offer to buy him out?), figures that Becker is another lightweight (at least, initially) and is not ready to give in without a fight. This is essentially the crux of the story, the global company versus the independent.

But, the movie takes both an odd and confusing turn at about the time that Becker tries to rain on Mr. McDowell's parade when he shows up at the Rotary Dance with Santa's offering the audience free samples of Coca-Cola. Because, this is about the same time that the story shifts it focus from the main plot to the subplot involving Becker and his eccentric former secretary (played by Gretta Scacchi). Although, I can understand that this is no less essential to the story because Becker, in his involvement with the secretary, is finally pulled from his impersonal role as marketing executive and forced to eventually take on a more humanistic role. But getting there was so weird, and this is especially evident from the sequences where Becker gets drunk and shows up at the drag queen club. And, it is probably Becker's exceedingly weird emptiness that creates such an odd atmosphere and, at least for me, some of the confusion. I don't know if this is how we are supposed to view Becker, or if Eric Robert's strange performance just leads to this.

Nonetheless, after slagging through this rather strange and abrupt shift in mood and, eventually, focus, the rest of the film pulls through rather nicely with a somewhat humorous (especially the events involving the hotel bellhop who is convinced that Becker is in the CIA) and ultimately sad ending that makes Becker rethink his situation. The filmmakers offer both a mix of the happy ending and not-so-happy ending (you have to watch it to see what I mean).

A pleasant, but unusual Aussie comedy/drama that may be worth your time if you can find it. Just don't go into it with the expectations that it is yet another steadily simple narrative or a typical feel-good Australian comedy.


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