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Mental (2012)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  29 March 2013 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 3,253 users   Metascore: 42/100
Reviews: 39 user | 42 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

A charismatic, crazy hothead transforms a family's life when she becomes the nanny of five girls whose mother has cracked from her husband's political ambitions and his infidelity.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Donna
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Leanne
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Holly Buchanan ...
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Michelle
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Nancy
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Trout
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Manda
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Kay
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Doris
Austin Caffin ...
Faceless Figure
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Storyline

The Moochmore girls are certain they all suffer from some kind of undiagnosed mental illness - because if they're not crazy then they're just unpopular. Their mother Shirley - unable to cope with her demanding daughters and unsupported by her philandering politician husband, Barry - suffers a nervous breakdown. After Barry commits his wife to a mental hospital (telling his constituents that "she's on holiday") he finds himself alone with 5 teenage girls he barely knows. Desperate, he impulsively picks up a hitchhiker named Shaz and installs her in his home as nanny to his daughters. Written by Caitlin Rose

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

29 March 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kaheli  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$750 (USA) (5 April 2013)

Gross:

$17,346 (USA) (5 April 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview on Australian television, P.J. Hogan said that Mental is autobiographical, that his own father had his wife committed, hired a hitchhiker to babysit his children - he trusted her because she had a dog - and later found out that she was an escapee. See more »

Quotes

Shirley Moochmore: Are you one of Dr Thornbender's patients as well?
Sandra: Yep. And I love her. And I don't like whiteys as a rule, but Shaz... Shaz isn't white. She's a new colour. She's mauve.
Shaz: Awwwwww
Sandra: It's true, Shaz, you're mauve. You're fucking mauve. Now Shaz knows. She knows. She's gonna change your fucking life.
Shirley Moochmore: That's the impression I get.
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Soundtracks

"She's The Best'
Written by Sam Clark
Performed by Sam Clark
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User Reviews

 
Serious fun
14 October 2012 | by (Wollongong) – See all my reviews

I love psychodramas, so the chance to see Toni Collette in a film touching on mental illness was too good to miss. I was stunned to hear that the underlying story of this movie is true! Some reviewers have labeled the plot as complicated and bumpy - and it is - sort of like real life. However the plot is less important than the characters and the underlying themes. The cast is superb, particularly Collette, Gibney and newcomer Lily Sullivan as the eldest daughter. The characters are rich and complex, except for the father (played well by LaPaglia) who is a bit too one dimensional. I preferred the way The United States of Tara handled the issue of being partner to someone with severe mental illness.

However it is the underlying issue of the way mental illness, normality and conformity are experienced and perceived in our society that shines. JP Hogan does not preach or present a one-sided view - rather we see normality as complex and nuanced. Collette plays the deeply flawed yet strangely inspirational Shaz who serves to provoke, challenge and sometimes overturn the other characters' views of normal. Modern psychiatry is neither approved nor mocked. The "normal" characters are revealed as sometimes shallow and fragile - not as normal as they seem.

The comedy ranges from subtle, to ocker, to cartoonish and melodramatic. Not everyone will like it. Some scenes are just plain absurdist.

I suspect that like Muriel, this is a multi-layered film that will actually stand up to repeated viewing. As for the tag line - well it's going to be hard not to laugh whenever my friends talk of "going to Wollongong" - and I can say that because it's where I live.


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