Review: Kath & Kimderella

Kath & Kimderella

(PG) *

Director: Ted Emery.

Cast: Jane Turner, Gina Riley, Magda Szubanski, Rob Sitch, Richard E Grant, Glenn Robbins, Peter Rowsthorn, Jessica De Gouw.

THE laughter provided by Kath & Kim, as a TV show, has been one of the few triumphs in Australian comedy in the past decade.

They cleverly skewered both the lower and upper classes with a brand of humour that played on our nation's cultural cringe, yet managed to appeal to the critics and masses alike.

However, there has been some fear that their joke was getting old and those fears are fully realised in this painfully unfunny and labouriously tedious film.

Fountain Lake's favourite foxes are off to the fictitious Italian province of Papilloma thanks to a competition win in this fairy tale-influenced tale.

It's not going to be a relaxing holiday though. The stylistically challenged Kath (Turner) will have to deal with the affections of King Javier (Sitch), spoilt brat Kim (Riley) will have to deal with the affections of the masked Prince Juleo (Mullally), and poor put-upon Sharon (Szubanski) will have to decide which of the sexes she'd like to deal with the affections of.

Maybe the hardcore fans will enjoy this, but it's such a frustratingly bad film that I think even the most ardent Kath & Kim supporter will struggle.

So many jokes fall flat it's almost unbearable. The last 10 minutes contains some gold, but it's not enough to make up for the torrent of misfires.

There are so many jokes regarding Kath & Kim's abuses of the English language and good fashion sense that even if the gags were funny at first, there is no way they would still be funny by the time the credits roll.

Szubanski, who recently came out of the closet, gets a running gag about her sexuality that may be nudge-nudge wink-wink at first, but it's totally tiresome by the end. As are jokes about Grant's man-servant saying words that rhyme a lot and Riley and Turner's blue-blood Liberal side characters, who prove utterly pointless and unfunny.

Turner and Riley are talented comedians, but parts of their schtick are horribly out-dated, and those parts reign supreme in this movie. If their old shows Full Frontal and Fast Forward had released films in their hey-days (1989-1997), it would have been like Kath & Kimderella. This is not a good thing.

Some attempts at humour are so bad they break the tone of the entire movie. Segments involving deliberately bad special effects and Kath suddenly doing magic (I kid you not) tear you out of the film so badly, it's hard to get back into it.

There are some highlights. The climactic royal wedding features some of the best laughs, while Szubanski, Robbins and Riley are the pick of the cast.

But there is not much to recommend here, unless you're a truly die-hard fan that worships everything Kath & Kim does. And even then, you'll be hard-pressed to rate this highly.


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