As a family gather to watch one of their own swimming in the Olympics, minutes of fame become a hilarious and painful 24 hours when they uncover the secrets of a lifetime.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Chrissy / Carol
...
Paul
Jack Chan ...
Takeaway Bar Owner
John McBeth ...
Olympic Commentator
Rima Te Wiata ...
Jen
...
Ken (as Tim Balme)
Donna Akersten ...
Joyce
Petra Peters ...
Midwife
Jodie Dorday ...
Lyn
Fiona Samuel ...
Infomercial Voice
Shane Bartle ...
Infomercial Voice
Brian Sergent ...
Brian
Colin Addison ...
Old MacPherson
Bob Wiki ...
Haka Exponent
Vinny Epiha ...
Barman
Edit

Storyline

As a family gather to watch one of their own swimming in the Olympics, minutes of fame become a hilarious and painful 24 hours when they uncover the secrets of a lifetime.

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Comedy

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15 October 1998 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

Familienglück oder andere Katastrophen  »

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User Reviews

 
The best comedy to come out of New Zealand in a long time!
7 April 2000 | by (Auckland, New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Anthony McGarten has adapted his play, Via Satellite, and directed the best comedic film to come out of New Zealand for a long time. Chrissy Dunn (Danielle Cormack) is a drop-out. She hasn't achieved much in her latter years and has grown resentful of her family since her father's deathbed confession. Her twin sister, Carol (also portrayed by Danielle Cormack) is basking in the media limelight as she represents New Zealand in swimming at the Olympics. A middle-aged, desireless and desperate director (Brian Sergent) and his good-natured cameraman - who is also Chrissy's one-night stand from the night previous - Paul (Karl Urban) film the Dunn family's proudest moment; watching Carol swim to victory. This wouldn't be so bad but Chrissy's family is the epitome of embarrassing. First of all there is the matriach of the Wellingtonian Dunns, Joyce (Donna Akerston). She makes fairy cakes and cocktail sausages for the all-important film crew and refuses to change the way she is. Her oldest daughter, Jen (Rima Te Wiata) is desperate to be something more than common. She has a nice home (with bedroom walls painted "Blackberry sorbet"), expensive tastes and a nasty parasitic attitude to match. She is also nearing 40 and desparate for a child. Her husband, Ken (Tim Balme) is an electrician and forces himself on jobs that don't need doing...as well as doing jobs that need to be done, ie Jen. The middle daughter, Lyn (Jodie Dorday - who won Best Supporting Actress at New Zealand Film Awards for this portrayal)is a "knocked-up" tart who has a dubious history with Ken. Both older sisters clash, the mother is in a state, Ken is as bad a ToolTime Tim Taylor, Carol is fuelling her Olympic desire and Chrissy is aware all of this is to be splashed on national tv - why shouldn't she be embarrassed? It is great to see some famous New Zealand faces perform in the suburban comedy that has witty lines to spare. I loved the sparring between Jen and Lyn. One is like an adult Mona-my-biological-clock-is-ticking-away, the other a narcisstic tramp who has what her sister desires - a bun in the oven. Climax of the film is quite sentimental and is nicely done. The performances are a treat and the film works perfectly. A great way to spend an hour-and-a-half.


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