Entertainment

Review: Spot the Tweed in Mental

Rebecca Gibney and Anthony LaPaglia, centre, and Deborah Mailman pictured far left in a scene from the movie Mental. Supplied by UPI Media.
Rebecca Gibney and Anthony LaPaglia, centre, and Deborah Mailman pictured far left in a scene from the movie Mental. Supplied by UPI Media.

PJ HOGAN'S latest movie Mental has started showing in selected cinemas around the Tweed.

As backdrop to his story, the director revisited the area where he spent much of his childhood and used the Tweed and surrounding shires to create an atmosphere similar to Muriel's Wedding.

Although Porpoise Spit is replaced by Dolphin Heads, the small coastal town mood is re-created as is the council employment enjoyed by the family's patriarch and the dysfunctional nature of the family.

However, this is where the similarities end and where Muriel's Wedding was funny and entertaining, Mental is strange and surreal.

The movie's intro sees the mother of the family Shirley Moochmore, played by Rebecca Gibney, burst out in a rendition of "the hills are alive with the sound of music" and sets up the movies' surreal feel.

Mum Shirley can't cope with her five daughters' "mental' behaviour and finds solace in food.

A weight problem results and is one of the reasons her husband Barry, Anthony LaPaglia, refuses to spend any time at home and sleeps with almost anything with a pulse.

When Shirley has a mental breakdown in a donut shop, Barry decides to send her to a mental institution described by the family as "mum is in Wollongong on holidays."

Barry finds himself in the, for him, impossible situation of having to look after a family he hardly knows and picks up a hitchhiker to help him out.

This is when Chaz, Toni Collette, enters the stage and although her acting skills are apparent, the movie's script is so far-fetched, even for an actor of her standard, it is difficult to make the character believable.

The subplot she is involved with is right out of left field and although some funny scenes ensue, the overall experience for the audience is one of confusion with the outlandish events which take place.

A redeeming feature for local residents will in all likelihood be playing spot the Tweed and a number of locations can be easily recognised.

Murwillumbah's council chambers are used as are some areas inside the council's offices.

Coolangatta's Marine Pde appears as do a variety of locations in Banora Point and Murwillumbah.

All in all, for lovers of Muriel's Wedding, the movie will create feelings of nostalgia rather than pleasure and disappoint those who hope for a similar level of entertainment.



Surfer's shark tale: 'That's when it's come straight at me'

Pictured at Kingscliff this morning Rodney Clark has survived a Great White encounter.

"I lost sight of my son because a wave hit him"

Sleeping rough for Fred's Place

ALL RUGGED UP: From left, Lenny McLennan, Jason McDonald, Gerard Robinson, Gordon Rhodes and Stuart Burrows prepare for Fred's Place Sleep Out.

Tweed locals show support for homeless by sleeping outside in boxes.

Latest deals and offers

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

Kristen Bell's baby confession

Kristen Bell once pretended to be asleep when her baby woke up early

Babylon 5's Jerry Doyle has died

Jerry Doyle has died from unknown causes at the age of 60

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started