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Overall Rating

Awesome: 29.17%
Worth A Look: 4.17%
Average: 4.17%
Pretty Bad: 29.17%
Total Crap33.33%

2 reviews, 12 user ratings

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Walk the Talk
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by Chris Parry

"They said Australia doesn't do surrealist comedy. Shirley Barrett does."
2 stars

Well, you have to give credit where it's due. This film is different. Unique. Twisted. But is it good? Well, not really. Shirley Barrett, who last poked her head up with the brilliant Love Serenade, has followed that up with what could only be called a misfire. But even then, when scratching one's head and dismissing the film as skewiff, you just have to wonder... did I miss something? Was it just my sensibility? Was that a faint hint of satire and sarcasm behind the show? I dunno... as art, Walk The Talk rides far higher than it does as entertainment.

Sal Coco is a freak. He's a self-help, follow-your-dreams mess. So clearly insane he doesn't realise his own life is a mess. As he bounces from cause to cause, grabbing a wheelchair-bound girlfriend (Sacha Horler, who is never ever bad, no matter what goes on around her) as his very own project du jour, he pretends to be a security guard during the day, just so he can meet people and help them in their lives. Like I said... freak.

Nikki Bennett is an aging cabaret singer, long past her prime and seemingly more than happy to close out her career as a quiet failure. Until bouncey-boy decides she needs to be a star, and the only way that can happen is if he becomes her agent. What he really wants is a shag, but like I said, he's a freak, and thus takes his girlfriend's compensation money and opens an angency. With one client. An awfully untalented one.

As has been said, this is one hell of a depressing movie. Sometimes depressing can be a fine thing, as was seen in Love Serenade, but here things are awry. The characters are just too normal, the situations not so normal. The background and setting are localised, the themes not so.

About a year ago I asked Sacha Horler why she had chosen such ultra-realistic films to make her industry splash (she had won a Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress AFI Award for Praise and Soft Fruit respectively), and she replied that she doesn't get to read many Australian surrealist comedy scripts. The point was well-made that Australian film has a fascination with the quirky and the real, and not a lot in between. Walk The Talk is an honest stab at breaking the tradition, and credit is due for the effort.

Sadly, it just doesn't seem to work. But then, if ever there was a film that hits some peoples funnybone more than others, this is one of those films. Certainly there were some present at my screening who were in fits of laughter. Much as I wanted to be, I just wasn't one of them.

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originally posted: 09/01/00 01:01:23
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User Comments

7/24/05 Frank Piece of shit. Waste of time, disgrace to call it a movie. 1 stars
4/11/05 David Nichols This is an excellent film. 5 stars
1/14/05 Garlin A film that hates its characters and hates its audience. You'll hate it too. 1 stars
9/23/03 Harvey Jacobs Should have stayed in the can 2 stars
4/06/01 Pierce Lanson Wonderful follow up to Love Serenade-All performances sensational 5 stars
3/16/01 Scott Ryder Weird endin, cool movie 5 stars
3/13/01 Maria Fabiano One of the best Australian films ever made! 5 stars
3/03/01 Hali Fine This is a truely wonderful, funny film. What a cast!!!! 5 stars
2/11/01 Hali Fine What a fantastic, funny, scathing film..go Shirley 5 stars
1/19/01 michael carr finally an intelligent comedy that is really quirky 5 stars
9/08/00 neil bartlett not quite there, not quiry enough 3 stars
9/01/00 Klute There's a real nasty streak through this film, and though it's hit and miss, it does hit. 4 stars
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  15-Mar-2001 (M)

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