Danny Deckchair: Lisa Tomasetti
Scott Brown
August 11, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Danny Deckchair

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
90 minutes
Limited Release Date
08/11/04
performer
Rhys Ifans, Miranda Otto, Justine Clarke, Rhys Muldoon
director
Jeff Balsmeyer
distributor
Lions Gate Films
author
Jeff Balsmeyer
genre
Romance, Comedy

We gave it a C

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.

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