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
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 »
When Mr. Moochmore sits down to the dinner the girls made, the first item from the food dishes he is offered is a piece of bread, which he places on his plate. He then starts to reach for the spoon in the bowl of peas. In the next shot, the bread is gone from his plate, and in its place is a half a cob of corn. He is shown again reaching for the spoon in the peas, yet there is already a small pile of peas on his plate, and the bread is being held out to be offered once more. See more »
Barry! Mayor Moochmore!
[through locked door]
I'm in conference!
There's an emergency at home.
[door opens. A lady sits on the bed, dishevelled, make-up smudged, adjusting her clothing. She points to a painting on the wall]
I painted that.
I'm helping Jean widen her access road.
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I have to say in response to another reviewers comments that the fact that they say "muddled plot and complicatedness of the character interactions' causes disappointment only further identifies the lack of knowledge for society around people living with mental health illnesses.
I think that if it is viewed to be muddled and complicated P J Hogan has fully succeeded in communicating the complexity of living with mental illness and the perception society have when interacting with people living with these illnesses.
I thought it was raw and confronting, cushioned by humor. I loved it.
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