Hail globalism: Sweet, dumb American movies can now be made anywhere in the world. Take a film with say, Owen Wilson and Lisa Kudrow, and substitute vaguely respectable actors (with vaguely respectable accents) like Rhys Ifans (”Notting Hill”) and Miranda Otto (”Lord of the Rings”) and you’ve got yourself a feathery art-house lark called Danny Deckchair. Danny is the Australian breed of this gawky bird, whose markings include a regular-guy protag (Ifans, as wistful working-stiff Danny) and an improbable, life-changing crisis: Despondent in his suburban Sydney rut, Danny attaches helium balloons to a lawn chair and floats away to a simpler place, the tiny outback town of Clarence (a stunt most famously attempted by Angeleno Larry Walters in 1982). Back on earth, Danny sheds his Paleolithic chin scruff and meets a fellow castaway-from-life, parking cop Glenda (Otto); they begin a cautious, adorably predictable pas de deux. Never mind the blimp-size plot holes: It’s a soothing stoner tableau, a fine dropout fantasy. So why overload it with thematic ballast (media hysteria, populism)? Note to Danny: A deck chair can support only so much.
(Danny Deckchair: Lisa Tomasetti)
Genre: Romance, Comedy; Starring: Rhys Ifans, Miranda Otto, Justine Clarke, Rhys Muldoon; Director: Jeff Balsmeyer; Author: Jeff Balsmeyer; Runtime (in minutes): 90; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: Lions Gate Films
Posted August 11 2004 — 12:00 AM EDT
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