A FEW BEST MEN ( MA15+)
Director: Stephan Elliott ( Priscilla, Queen
of the Desert ) Stars: Xavier Samuel, Jonathan Biggins, Laura Brent, Olivia Newton- John, Tim Draxl, Kris Marshall, Kevin Bishop
RSVP in the negative
AUSTRALIAN director Stephan Elliott is not the type of filmmaker who will die wondering.
However, audiences who have endured his entire erratic output will be sure to cark it in a state of perpetual confusion.
History will write off Elliott as a one- hit wonder on the strength of Priscilla, and forget about all the other major car crashes and minor bingles sustained en route ( Welcome to Woop Woop, anyone?).
This brings us to A Few Best Men, a sick and sorry comedy of nuptial errors. The set- up is simple enough at best. The execution is simple minded at worst.
British bachelor David ( Xavier Samuel) is about to marry the Aussie girl of his dreams, Mia ( Laura Brent). He and his laddish mates land Down Under just in time for the wedding ceremony, which will transpire at the swish mountain homestead of the bride’s family.
Mia’s dad ( Jonathan Biggins) is a high- ranking, cantankerous politician, inordinately fond of his prize pet sheep and not so fond of his trophy wife ( Olivia Newton- John).
The ceremonial calamities that follow are mucky, madcap and predictable, often all at once.
Illicit substances belonging to a drug dealer on a neighbouring property find their way into the guts of the prize sheep. Said drugs must then be retrieved, via the baaing one’s bottom, before it overdoses.
Meanwhile, Newton- John snorts more than her fair share of cocaine and behaves in a most un- Livvy- like fashion.
People keep walking into rooms to be greeted with the line ‘‘ this isn’t what it looks like’’.
Embarrassing speeches, sudden tantrums, drawn- out misunderstandings and crass one- liners abound.
Tonally, A Few Best Men keeps abruptly switching from please- all to quease- all, and never quite gets the hang of either. The end result is as funny as being trapped in a lift on a public holiday.
Performances are a bust across the board but it may not really be the fault of the cast members, who have clearly been ( mis) led down the garden path by Elliott.