Credits: Directed by Jeff Balsmeyer and starring Rhys Ifans, Miranda Otto, Justine Clarke, Rhys Muldoon, John Batchelor, Alan Flower, Julie Sobotta, Brian Langsworth, Steve Rassios, Madeleine James, Jane Ruggiero, Gina Bortolin, Duncan Young and Garrie Scott.
Details: (PG), 100 mins, Australia, English
Synopsis: A cement worker escapes the mundanity of his suburban life by soaring into the sky in a deckchair attached to helium-filled balloons. After touching down in the quite village of Clarence, he becomes closely acquainted with the local female parking cop and ultimately has to reassess where his life is heading.
Charming leads compensate for flimsy screenplay.
Danny, a cement truck driver, lives in suburban Sydney with his girlfriend, real estate agent Trudy (Justine Clarke). Danny is very much looking forward to his summer holiday with Trudy, but when ambitious TV star Sandy Upman (Rhys Muldoon) asks her out to lunch, she tells Danny the holiday is off, claiming she can't get away from work. During a backyard barbie, the disgruntled Danny, who has discovered the scheming Trudy's deception, attaches helium balloons to his deckchair and floats off into the blue, to land in Clarence, in the north of NSW, in the yard of parking cop Glenda (Miranda Otto).
By far the best scenes in this uneven romantic comedy are those involving the amiable leads, Rhys Ifans and Miranda Otto. Both actors are good enough to rise above the rather thin and unconvincing material. First-time writer-director Jeff Balsmeyer's screenplay contains too many unanswered questions – why doesn't the lovely Glenda seem to have any kind of life, why does Danny so unquestioningly ally himself with local politician Anthony Phelan, why is there no photo of Danny in TV News reports.
Justine Clark tends to overplay the obnoxious Trudy. But the scenes of the balloon flight are beautifully handled, and the charming leading players compensate for a great deal.
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