Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

+Di­rec­tor: Marc Gra­cie, Tim Ferguson Star­ring: Xavier Samuel, Morgan Grif­fin, Travis Jeffrey, Melissa Ber­g­land Ver­dict: Booze, blues and the utes of tyranny

THEY stayed away in droves from the new Aus­tralian com­edy Spin Out dur­ing its open­ing week at the lo­cal box of­fice.

So I thought I’d bet­ter hap­pen along and see what all the fuss isn’t about. Kind of wish I hadn’t, be­cause it is al­ways rather chill­ing to see a home­grown flick of any cal­i­bre fold like a cheap card ta­ble in front of a pay­ing crowd.

There was one, un­avoid­ably telling statis­tic in play at the ses­sion I at­tended. Not a sin­gle soul saw fit to au­di­bly laugh. Not even once.

(I’m not count­ing the young lady a few rows away who gig­gled dur­ing a quiet bit of the movie. She was scrolling through Face­book on her phone at the time.)

The open­ing scenes of Spin Out es­tab­lish the set­ting as some­where up­coun­try. Bo­gans and bo­ganettes from all over the coun­try­side have con­vened for the re­gion’s one big so­cial oc­ca­sion: the Bach­e­lors & Spin­sters Ball. As day­time turns to dusk, ev­ery­one pulls up at the shindig in a ute, an­nounc­ing their ar­rival with some fairly tame cir­cu­lar burnouts.

Those not in pos­ses­sion of a ute gawp away at the dusty spec­ta­cle with a tinny in their paw, and a woo-hoo sound fre­quently emit­ting from their mouth-holes. Cin­e­mat­i­cally speak­ing, it is as awe-in­spir­ing a vista as an ex­treme close-up of a brick.

Once the Ball it­self be­gins, it be­comes crys­tal clear the plot for Spin Out won’t be start­ing this cen­tury. There’s a cou­ple of ret­ro­grade ru­ral yokels (Xavier Samuel, Travis Jeffrey) too emo­tion­ally stunted to ad­mit they have feel­ings for two lo­cal lasses (Morgan Grif­fin, Melissa Ber­g­land).

Then there’s the trio of light­weight layabouts who lose their long-term girl­friends on the spot by an­nounc­ing they’ll soon be join­ing the army.

Throw in a chubby bloke try­ing to break a can-drink­ing record, two other blokes try­ing not to have a gay crush on each other, and much music to change flanelette shirts by, and you’ve got a dire, wit-free movie that has con­fused cel­e­brat­ing the coun­try way of life with dozily car­i­ca­tur­ing it.

Only two last­ing thoughts can pos­si­bly en­ter the mind through­out this sad ex­pe­ri­ence. How did this ever get made? And when will it ever end?

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