Cast: Paul Hogan, Michael Caton, Glynn Nicholas, Paula Duncan, Moira Maughan, Pete Postlethwaite, Alan Cassell, Shane Withington, Roy Billing.
Rated: M 15+low level coarse language, sexual references
Running Time: 99 Minutes
They're close mates, but not that close.
Starring two of Australia's leading comic actors Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee) and Michael Caton (The Castle), Strange Bedfellows, tells the hilarious and heart warming story of two very straight country blokes who, out of financial desperation, declare themselves a gay couple to exploit new tax legislation.When a tenacious tax inspector, played by the internationally renowned Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name Of The Father), is sent to verify their authenticity, all hell breaks loose in the once sleepy township of Yackandnadah as the blokes are suddenly forced to pose openly as a 'loving gay couple' in a town that knows them as anything but!
Paul Hogan has returned to form as the very Aussie Vince Hopgood in Strange Bedfellows. He doesn't overdo the Aussie part either, which was a relief as it would have been so easy to do in this role as a very straight country male. His best friend is Ralph Williams played by Michael Caton, who is a perfect foil to Hogan's humour.
Much of the humour of Strange Bedfellows relies on innuendo and overheard conversations that are taken out of context. Never did the story sink below the belt or become bad taste - it was all done with innocent Aussie humour to be taken lightly. No offence could be taken from any of the scenes either.
Pete Postlethwaite plays the tax inspector so straight and with such a deadpan delivery that it is impossible to determine what he is thinking. How he made it through the scene where he has to interview Hogan and Caton's characters as a gay couple would have to have been near impossible not to crack, but with sharp editing there is never a hint of Postlethwaite losing composure. There must be some brilliant out-takes somewhere.
Mention must go to the delightful Glynn Nicholas as Eric, the local 'gay' hairdresser. His performance is a scream and he was not in nearly enough scenes save that he might steal some of the limelight from Hogan and Caton. He was certainly a highlight of the film. As always, so too was veteran Monica Maughan another highlight as the gossiping Faith.
Strange Bedfellows doesn't stretch the imagination by any means but that is not to say it isn't entertaining. It is. It is an Australian comedy where the humour is not cringe material, well, too much anyway, which came as a relief. The story isn't too challenging although there is a touch of pathos that wraps it all up neatly at the end. Overall, it is a fun movie that should be taken light-heartedly.
Rating : B-
- Christina Bruce