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This is one of the freshest, most unpretentious, least self-conscious Australian features of recent memory. It is a lowbrow comedy aimed directly at teenage boys -- that said, its inherent charm also makes it a shrewd bet for any age.
Though the opening flashback of our two "heroes" (Jeffrey and Philip as kids) falls a little flat, the strong script (by Dave O'Neil and Mark O'Toole) and uncluttered direction ( by Marc Gracie) combine to birth a very likable comedy.
Though YOU AND YOUR STUPID MATE is spawned from the genre that gave us DUDE WHERE'S MY CAR, ROAD TRIP and FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, it is a far less cynical piece than those movies and is populated by characters you might have found in a Bill Forsyth film (from the early 80's) such as GREGORY'S GIRL, THAT SINKING FEELING and LOCAL HERO, or the underrated Aussie gem FAST TALKING.
Though the film's trailer promises a movie about the adventures of two obnoxious slackers, the lead characters (played sweetly by Nathan Philips and Angus Sampson) are, in fact, charming innocents, who learn a valuable lesson in friendship.
Where MATE shines is in its casting and supporting character roster. William McInnes is superb as the disaffected boss of a government employment agency who endures terrible flashbacks of being mocked by scouts. Rachel Hunter is simply gorgeous as a woman (with five cute daughters) who lives in the same trailer park as Jeffrey and Philip. In one magical scene, one of the boys looks lovingly at her and declares: "Wow, she's so fertile." The reference to "Sailing", a song sung by Rachel's ex- (Rod Stewart), is inspired, too.
STUPID MATE is stuffed with charming asides like this and also boasts a few surreal cinematic detours into characters' pasts; one sequence, set in Somalia, is very funny; also worth a mention is a sequence in which Evo, a soap hunk (played by Tayler Kane), flashes back to a lifetime of fans taking the mickey out of his on-screen character.
All is resolved in a fashion consistent with the film's tone and general sense of innocence.
A very fine effort.
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