Danny Deckchair [retro review]

“You and your crazy ideas!”

The Scoop: 2003 PG-13, directed by Jeff Balsmeyer and starring Rhys Ifans, Miranda Otto, and Justine Clarke

Tagline: For anyone who ever dreamed of taking off.

Summary Capsule: A jokey dreamer floats off into a whole new world.

Nancy’s Rating:Three out of five bright ballooons.

Nancy’s Review: Wow. Were my expectation blown out of the water or what!?!?

So my cumulative two friends, Brenessa, had been telling me to rent this movie for months. But the details were scarce – a man ties some balloons to a chair and floats, floats, floats away. This struck me as absurdist and indie and poignant. I expected it to be filled with oddities and metaphors and surrealist humor. I still rented it, though, under the impression that it would be all the adjectives that Brenessa used to describe it. Magnificant. Weird. Beautiful. These word choices, along with the general plot of the story, just lead me to believe that it would be cool with just a little bit of pretentious mixed. I dug that concept enough to put it on my renting to-do list, but I flat out hate movie arrogance, so I had that preconception upon watching it.

And wowza was I wrong.

Afterwards, the Bre half of the cumulative friend who recommended it to me said “Oh yeah, I didn’t mean like good-weird. I mean like….fricking weird-weird. But I loved it!”. Ya know what it was? It was a flat-out romantic comedy, with all the predictable and cheesy elements intertwined. I knew every turn, but it was all tweeked. It was like the creators was trying to make a cliche American love story, but they only had a slight working understanding of it, were small children who got hold of a video camera and various acting adults, or Australian. Either way, it’s magnificent. It’s like a romantic comedy that a four-year-old would write – it has none of the dramatic elements that complicate modern love tales. It’s genius in it’s simplicity.

Danny is a dreamer, and his girlfriend Trudy doesn’t treat him well. He ties a bunch of balloons to a chair at a BBQ for attention and ends up floating off to a new town. He lands in the backyard of a beautiful, similarly wistful dreamy lady, Glenda. She tells everyone he’s her old professor, teaches him out to dance, the townspeople love him, and shizam. Love happens. It’s so simple and predictable, and yet it is just… a little… off. In weird ways too. For example, you will have a completely wholesome sweet scene of family and pancakes, and for a few seconds there will be a random unnecessary scene where a group of men sexually harass a woman. And then it will go back to being wholesome and sweet. Nancy, left on her couch, will not take offense at the sexual harassment, but she will stare open jawed at her TV and say “…what? That was totally unnecessary!”

So in my expectation of an absurd, kooky, indie movie I was wrong. Oh, it is absurd, but in a way I’ve never seen before. Like mildly odd under the guise of normalcy under the guise of wicked weird movie. Like a high school nerd trying to be normally but accidentally slipping out facts about the digestive system of South American geckos while attempting to act cool with the jocks. It’s unexplainable. It’s lovely, don’t get me wrong. And it’s just… it’s own little weird movie and nothing will ever be like it. I like it. The End.

You clean up mighty nice, captain.

Intermission!

  • He looks way cooler with long hair than short.
  • His first girlfriend is kind of a ho-bag with her cleavage. I mean, seriously, come on costume department!
  • At the end of the film when Danny and Glenda float away, their deckchairs move, but the shadows that those deckchairs cast remain in place.
  • It’s clear that Danny and Trudy aren’t married, and yet Trudy shares the last name as Danny. I mean, that’s just an extreme coincident/inbreeding/continuity flaw. (probably the latter)
  • When Danny leaves the house the morning after spending his first intimate night with Glenda, he has no shoes on. Yet in the subsequent shots (as he meets with a gaggle of reporters), Danny clearly has black shoes on.

Groovy Quotes

Trudy: What happened to you out there?
Danny: Everything.

Trudy: You and your crazy ideas!

Glenda [Danny falls on top of her from the sky]: Are you always like this?

If you liked this movie, try these:

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Eunice does The Price of Milk « Mutant Reviewers From Hell

  2. Pingback: Eunice does While You Were Sleeping « Mutant Reviewers From Hell

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