Any Questions for Ben?HD Closed Captioning
Open iTunes to preview, buy and download this movie.
About the Movie
Most people wait until middle-age to have a mid-life crisis, but for Ben (Josh Lawson) it happens at 27. Invited by his old school to join several other ex-students - including Alex (Rachael Taylor) and Jim (Ed Kavalee) - in talking about their personal achievements, things don’t quite go according to plan. Ben is the only speaker not to be asked a question by the school kids. This triggers a year of fast cars, wild holidays and even wilder women as he goes looking for answers in all the wrong places. But eventually Ben begins to realize that the meaning of life may well reside in the things he's already doing - and a girl he used to know.
I haven't actually seen any other Working Dog movies, so I didn’t really know what to expect. It is the 20th anniversary of the Late Show, however, and feeling sentimental (mistake) I thought I’d download this film for a quiet Thursday night in.
I wish I hadn’t. While the cinematography was really very good, and the shots of Melbourne were cool in a ‘oh hey, I know all those places’ kind of way, the movie itself I found flabby, irritating in parts and nothing special.
The best bits:
- Felicity Ward. Why don’t we see more of this great lady? She is funny, poised, and in my opinion, was the most real and beautiful woman in the whole cast.
- Melbourne. What a beautiful city we live in! Captured really nicely, I felt.
- Ben’s parents. Really funny to see Rob Carlton play Josh Lawson’s dad after Chandon Pictures (a great Australian comedy – check it out), well done by all.
- Lachy Hulme. I found myself waiting for his scenes – show stealer (same way I felt in that other hot mess, Boy Town). Same goes for Alan Brough.
- David James. I’d like to see more of him too. Genuine warmth.
The bad bits:
- The music. Why so much? Loud, and I didn’t feel like much of it complemented the movie.
- Flabby and poorly edited. The Russian tennis player, all the parties, the stupid housemate, the ski trip to NZ … so much that could have been left on the cutting room floor.
- Josh Lawson’s face. The twitchiness of his performance was like a visual hair shirt. I found it really difficult to watch him.
- Jodi Gordon. I don’t know who she is (I have never seen her before), but I don’t want to see her ever again.
Pedigree doesn't mean quality
As someone who enjoys Working Dog Productions generally, I ignored the poor reviews prior to renting this. Terrible editing and overuse of musical montages didn't hide the poorly written story. Basically a tourism promo for Melbourne.
A great Aussie film from Working Dog, that would be more than comfortable in any global setting.
Some great performances from a cast who present characters that seem very familiar, and has a little bit in it for most demographics.