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A struggling widower businessman finds a new tax loophole offered in Australia to same sex couples. Needing a tax break, he cajoles his best friend, also a widower, into filing papers indicating they are a gay couple living together and assuring him that the small town (population 652) they live in will never have a clue. However, their return letter from the government pops open and the town busybody soon has it spread all over town without the two men's knowledge. Meanwhile, the letter tells the men that a tax inspector will be coming to investigate their claim. The two decide they have to learn to act gay, so they get lessons from a local hair dresser and visit a gay nightclub in Sydney. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
reality of sexuality, twisted nicely for Middle Australia
Synopsis: A fictional and unlikely Australian Tax law has recently passed which allows all bona fide couples (including same-sex) to be treated with equity. In a small country town two good mates (men friends) have claimed desperately needed tax-relief and now must convince a Tax Inspector of their status, while trying to avoid creating a scandal in their close-knit community.
Comments: Strange Bedfellows is surprisingly enjoyable and rewarding. `Surprising' because I had dreaded that somehow Paul Hogan would stuff it up, but he does very well indeed as Vince, a man who hasn't ever fancied another man and really doesn't know where to begin. Michael Caton's Ralph is just as inexperienced in relating sexually to men, but hints at being more open to the possibility (though NEVER with Vince).
There are plenty of genuine laughs for gay & straight alike (though not always at the same time), and a rather high cringe factor in a few scenes - especially when the men are sampling `gay culture' during a whirlwind visit to Sydney.
Strange Bedfellows has it's heart in the right place, is decidedly LGBT friendly and has the same Australian cultural authenticity that made "The Castle" work so well. Of course the same strong element is shared here in the undeniably unique acting talent of Michael Caton.
This is a warmly entertaining film about the value of love and friendship. It probably qualifies as being a romantic comedy - but when Vince and Ralph share sweet memories about each other with the Tax Man you'll find there is no love lost. (8/10)
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