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Tim, in his early 20s, is quiet, dependable, and held close by his mother, Jean, who works long hours at a Sydney canteen and then does stand-up at night, talking constantly about what might have been (if she'd stayed in England, if she'd had no children, if her younger son Mark weren't mildly disabled). She gets enough club work to keep hope alive. They've bought a moving van, and Tim meets Jill, falling for her but finding the challenges of sex, his mother's prying, and his brother's needs more than he can handle. The family - as well as Tim and Jill's relationship - is on the edge of crisis, accident, or, in Jane's case, self-destruction. Are family dynamics set in stone? Written by
I saw the film on TV with the title "Introducing the Dwights." I guess that is because the film is about the Dwight family. I think the original Clubland title is more descriptive, because the story involves entertainers who work the club circuit for little money.
The family members that share a home are a divorced mother, Jean (Brenda Blethyn), and two sons. The boys father has his own home. The mother works as a cook at a diner but also has a career as a stand up comic. Before her marriage she had been something of a rising star in England, but moving with her husband to Australia and the birth of her children killed her career, which she is trying to resurrect. One son, Tim (Khan Chittenden), has a job as a mover, is still a virgin. Jean leans on him for support and is fearful that he is at an age when some girl will take him away from her. The other son, Mark (Richard Wilson) is slightly brain damaged but treated by Jean as if he is severely retarded. The father works as a security guard but is a singer who a long time ago had a single hit record.
Although the parent's efforts to resurrect their careers is one thread, a second is Tim's "coming of age" problems. A third thread is spastic Mark, who also leans on Tim for support and is sort of bounced around like a cork floating in water. These threads are skillfully interwoven, with the major conflict being Tim's effort to get free from the mother he doesn't want to hurt.
There are no dull moments in this movie. There is humor and pathos. I thought the acting is terrific, especially Brenda Blethyn and Richard Wilson.
My only quibble is that I thought Tim's girlfriend and her room mate were too hip and too hot to be interested in the shy Tim. Perhaps Australian girls have a hard time finding decent young men.
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