Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Mark Lamprell's energetic if not entirely successful musical romance is almost certain to be rendered critic-proof by the presence of Ronan Keating's bare behind in its first acting role. The good news is that it doesn't need to be.

The former Boyzone star brings that impressive part of his anatomy along with a doe-eyed, Irish twinkle to the role of James, a dad of twins who spends chunks of his life at sea charting whales and worrying about global warming. Meanwhile, his wife Elspeth (Laura Michelle Kelly), stays at home doing the dishes and generally playing mum. Given his high-profile split from his own wife, you certainly can't fault Keating's bravery in taking on a role in a troubled marriage - although this is less a film about the absentee dad, than about Elspeth's lack of general contentment. Frustrated by her isolation, not to mention one son's obsession with wings and the other's inability to poo, she decides to set up a webcam in her kitchen to record "sink songs", detailing the ins and outs of her life. Topics covered by her domestic ditties include the need to "have a tantrum of my own" and being "on the brink of madness". Little does she realise that as she is putting the kitsch into kitchen sink, her videos are going viral on the web.

This being Fantasy Film Land, it isn't long before corporation bigwig Cassandra (Magda Szubanksi, more camp than Glastonbury) steps in to sign her up for an ad campaign. Although it means heading to the city, the opportunity is too good to miss and Elspeth leaves her webcam as a hidden nanny monitor and heads off. Naturally, things don't exactly go according to plan and if Elspeth's homesickness isn't enough, she also doesn't realise she's broadcasting her nanny-cam - complete with her semi-naked other half, who has returned home unexpectedly - to the world.

Low on pretension and big on charm, Lamprell's film is infectiously feel-good even if the level of acting doesn't quite match up to Kelly and Keating's ability to belt out a decent tune. Bryony Marks' songs are by turns, endearingly frothy and suitably sentimental - particularly the toe-tapping Let's Have A Party. Aside from one or two nice swooping shots - such as an initial scene skit on The Sound Of Music - Lamprell's TV pedigree shows, with more intimate moments, particularly those of people watching Elspeth on the internet, feeling flat and stagey. Still, the domestic setting has a decent ring of truth and Kelly's high energy and Keating's winsome smile will go a long way with Mamma Mia and Priscilla Queen Of The Desert fans. In fact, everyone is so darned nice without being soppy, that it's even likely to win over waverers.

Reviewed on: 15 Sep 2012
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A stressed-out mum, who sings by the sink, becomes an internet sensation.

Director: Mark Lamprell

Writer: Mark Lamprell, Joanna Weinberg

Starring: Laura Michelle Kelly, Ronan Keating, Magda Szubanski, Dustin Clare, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Tamsin Carroll, Corinne Grant, Pia Miranda, Natalie Tran, Cameron Lyon

Year: 2013

Runtime: 99 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: Australia


Australia 2012

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