- Summary -
Director : Rob Sitch
Year Of Release : 2012
Principal Cast : Josh Lawson, Rachel Taylor, Daniel Henshall, Felicity Ward, Christian Clark, Lachy Hulme, Ed Kavalee, David James, Jodi Gordon, Rob Carlton, Tracy Mann, Alan Brough, Chantalle Raleigh, John Howard, Claudia Hruschka.
Approx Running Time : 114 Minutes
Synopsis: 27 year old high flyer Ben is forced to reassess his carefree, indulgent lifestyle after attending a school reunion where none of the students wanted to known more about his career. He also rekindles an interest in former female school friend Alex, who works as a lawyer for the United Nations, although his lack of commitment to anything creates more than a few problems for them both.
What we think : Warm-hearted romantic comedy is lite on depth but above average on humor. While the film flounders in the middle, and runs probably a good twenty minutes too long, the characters and scripting are often hilarious and sharp, even when the central character seems to simply be treading water throughout. Pop-song heavy and unambiguously Australian, Any Questions For Ben has a number of flaws which can be overlooked thanks to a winning performance by Josh Lawson.
I have questions on how this didn’t make more impact overseas.
If you’re a fan of Aussie comedy, then Any Questions For Ben will fit right into your sense of humor. If you’re not a fan of films such as The Dish and The Castle, both of which were also produced by Working Dog, then this film might not rattle your chain. Aussie comedy is an offshoot of a lot of British humor, although since our foundation in 1901 we’ve moved a fair way from the Mother Country in terms of what makes us laugh. Films such as Gettin’ Square and The Nugget, alongside more iniquitous laughs like Jimoen’s The Extra, for example, have become the touchstones with which we Australian’s identify much of our heritage. Trouble is, Aussie humor is often selective in its focus and invariably too mired in backwater self-referential in-jokes to become truly accepted by the broader cinematic community. That’s not to say we’re not adept at pop-culture success – we gave the world Crocodile Dundee, for which we’ve been apologizing ever since – but usually, our big screen comedies tend to be too culturally stringent to matter to most. This is my own opinion, of course. So when Any Questions For Ben popped up on the market, marking the end of a 12 year gap since the crew at Working Dog last graced our cinema screens with a film, I was more than hopeful it would become the cross-culture success The Dish had become, instead of the butchered-for-foreign-audiences experience of The Castle (a film, I might add, that remains perhaps the most quoted Aussie film of all time, at least here at home).