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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>
If you are looking for a gentle comedy with a warm, feel good underbelly, this is it.
Although I am a fan of the three lead actors in the film (Paul Hogan, Michael Caton and Pete Postlethwaite), I confess that before the film began I was slightly anxious that this would be a bit of a toe-curling cringe-making event that relied on wheeling out cardboard character stereotypes and putting them in lots of unbelievable 'not going to happen' silly scenarios. I was very pleasantly surprised. There are certainly some moments when I almost cringed a little too more than you are supposed to as part of the comedy but in my view the blanket of warmth running through this film carried them off.
The lead characters are backed up very well by some fine supporting performances. In particular, I liked the parts played by the hairdresser and the straight 'pub' and gay 'club' mates.
In terms of criticism, I think the script could have been a bit stronger in places and, in some parts, you have to disable your cynicism sensors when looking at the leads' very old-fashioned notions of how they think they should act to blend in as 'gay people' (but then I suppose this could fly on account of their country upbringing/lack of exposure - no offence to country folk meant here).
I would not quite rate this film as a classic in the sense that "The Full Monty" may have been, but as with that movie, I did feel quite a bit happier from the experience of watching it. If you are in the right mood for this film, you will find it very enjoyable.
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