Reviewed by: Tony Sullivan

Brenda Blethyn puts in a tour-de-force performance as a middle-aged vaudevillian whose day and audience are both in decline. Added to this she has a failed marriage, an oily paramour and two sons who are becoming more interested in girls than mum.

In a further complication, one son, Mark, has a handicap. Played to perfection by newcomer Richard Wilson, Mark steals every scene he is in. Meanwhile the other brother, Tim (Khan Chittenden), is discovering girls and, specifically, Jill (Emma Booth) whom he meets through a job as a removal van man. What follows is a touching and honest look at awkward teenage romance under the disapproving eye of mum.

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For her part, mum continues to ply her stand-up comedy routine to diminishing returns, while looking whistfully at her fading photographs showing her with Benny Hill and Morecambe and Wise.

Director Cherie Nowlan and scriptwriter Keith Thompson have crafted a winning comedy tale that puts the fun in dysfunction and pulls gently at the heart strings – and best of all - the characters are real people. The film deserves to be a big hit.

Reviewed on: 22 Jan 2007
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Comedy performer finds growing old is a funny business.
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Director: Cherie Nowlan

Writer: Keith Thompson

Starring: Brenda Blethyn, Emma Booth, Peter Callan, Khan Chittenden, Brendan Clearkin, Russell Dykstra, Rebecca Gibney, Frankie J. Holden, Philip Quast, Katie Wall, Richard Wilson

Year: 2007

Runtime: 105 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: Australia

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