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An adventurous journey into the life of 14-year-old rebellious schoolboy Jonah, his family, friends, teachers and counsellors who are exhaustively trying to help him channel his seemingly limitless energy into bigger and brighter things.
Housos tells the not-so-epic stories of Shazza, Dazza, Franky and Kylie - four best mates from down on the block. Sure, they drink away their problems, they might even have frequent domestics but down on the block it's all for one and one for all. Follow the adventures of the residents of the Sunnyvale Housing Commission in every-town Australia. They battle cops and they scam Centerlink, they even have the occasional threesome and swingers party, but once you're down with the crew in the hood then it's " Sunnyvale for life". Written by
Paul Fenech, creator of the outrageous Australian comedies Pizza and Swift and Shift Couriers, brings the satirical degenerates of his latest television series Housos- the controversial program that pokes fun at life in the fictional housing commission suburb of Sunnyvale- to the big screen.
The film follows houso Shazza (Elle Dawe) who, upon finding out that her estranged mum is terminally ill, makes the trip to Alice Springs to be with her on her deathbed. After mum passes away, Shazza vows to honour her dying wish by spreading mum's ashes atop Ayers Rock. Along for the ride are dopey de facto Dazza (Jason Davis), father of the year Kev (Kev Taumata), his delusional wife Vanessa (Vanessa Davis) and carefree criminal Franky (Fenech).
To Fenech's credit, not one sector of Australian society escapes mockery in this film. Deadbeat Kiwis, Lebanese wannabes, Aboriginals and even the Prime Minister cop a truckload of amusing, if somewhat overboard, punishment for the stereotype they have assisted in creating.
The comedy never settles on a middle ground, and is instead wildly inconsistent in producing laughs. Funny moments often have the positive effect of taking the viewer by surprise, even if they are overshadowed by the ludicrousity of the scene, while lapses in humour- especially when the cast tries too hard- are painfully uncomfortable.
The entire film feels like overcompensation for a lack of plot and genuine intrigue (screenplay and stylist credits seem a bit rich, since most dialogue contains variations of the F-bomb and everyone looks the same in every scene), but if served with a heavy dose of ticklish friends and bottom-rung expectations, one might even be reluctant to admit how much they enjoyed Housos vs. Authority. By the closing credits, nobody's learnt their lesson and nobody's a better person for the experience and that's just the way it should be.
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