Oh what a treat I got when I sat down in a criminally empty theater to watch Mental, I saw the trailer and to be honest I thought it looked cringe-worthy, but because I'm such a huge fan of Muriel's Wedding I thought I'd give it a go anyway. Muriel's Wedding it ain't, but it's a new classic on its own accord. The film is set in a typical coastal Australian town, complete with regular Aussie houses, fish and chip shops and a public pool, we get to see the Moochmore family at home and we realize that all isn't well with this family, so the mum (expertly played by Australia's golden girl of television Rebecca Gibney), gets shipped off to the loony bin by the bastard father, and then enters Shaz, a character equally as charming and hilarious as Muriel Heslop. This woman transforms all the young daughters in so many ways, teaching them valuable lessons along the way, she even gives the father a serving of her mind which is awesome. As the film progresses we see all isn't as it seems with Shaz but I won't say anymore about that, as its a spoiler and its fun to see it happen without any knowledge.
I'm a massive Aussie at heart, I grew up in country New South Wales so I love seeing real bogan stuff like Mental, the dialogue and the houses and everything just reminds me of growing up. The jokes are by the minute, Toni Collette is one hilarious woman, every line she delivers so spot on, half of the movie wouldn't be what it is if it wasn't executed so well by her. The supporting cast is spectacular, Anthony LaPaglia is good playing against character as the bad father, Rebecca Gibnet is heartbreaking but hilarious as the mum you can't help but feel for, the actress that plays the oldest daughter is going places I'm sure, and Deb, Deb Mailman is down right bloody ridiculously funny, that woman can do no wrong in my opinion.
The film deals with mental illness in a really good way, all the facts and stuff are there, PJ Hogan obviously did his research while writing this movie, it's not sad and fluffy, it's hilarious and wonderful. If you're Australian and don't enjoy Mental, you mustn't be human, there's a bevy of classic lines " you're a mad bitch", lots of laughs, and excellent performances all around.
The perfect night at the pictures, it's sad no one bothers to see Australian films anymore. Come on guys, support the local stuff!!!!!
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