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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 22.97%
Average: 27.03%
Pretty Bad: 1.35%
Total Crap: 9.46%

4 reviews, 50 user ratings

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Danny Deckchair
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Stephen Groenewegen

4 stars

When things aren’t going right, or events are beyond your comprehension, who hasn’t thought of just taking off and leaving it all behind? Especially when your relationship is less a lifelong partnership than a complication of obligations, mortgages and split incomes.

Danny Deckchair is a starting over fantasy about an easygoing brickie (Rhys Ifans from Notting Hill) who ties oversized helium balloons to his outdoor chair and launches into the sky. Panicked air traffic controllers are forced to re-route aircraft out of his path, until Danny and his chair are blown north of Sydney by a storm. He’s brought to earth by a stray firework from the Macadamia Festival in the Northern Rivers town of Clarence.

Writer-director Jeff Balsmeyer has devised a great visual hook for a romantic comedy. For the film is not just about Danny’s oddball adventures, but his effect on two very different women. Trudy (Justine Clarke) is the over-ambitious real estate agent he literally leaves behind. She sees Danny as “one of the little people” and cancels their camping holiday to Port Douglas so she can stay at work and woo a client, a conspicuously wealthy and attractive TV sports anchor (Rhys Muldoon). Glenda (Miranda Otto) owns the backyard that Danny’s chair dumps him in. She is Clarence’s only parking cop, an uptight young women who’s given up on love, and on whom Danny has a predictably liberating effect.

There’s nothing startling about the plot of Danny Deckchair, once you get past the inventive premise. But what matters most in this genre is the chemistry of the leads. It certainly helps that Ifans and Otto have worked together before (in the Charlie Kaufman-scripted Human Nature). Both are such experienced actors at this sort of thing that they lend the film an air of assurance, and there’s no awkwardness when they’re together. Ifans, despite not being blessed with traditional leading man looks, is surprisingly appealing as the hapless Danny. And, having last seen her as a warrior maiden in The Lord of the Rings, it’s easy to forget how funny Miranda Otto can be.

Balsmeyer, making his first feature, assuredly juggles a large cast of characters. Of the secondary leads, Justine Clarke’s manic energy and comic verve make her a perfect foil for the laidback, slightly loopy Danny, but Muldoon is too bland to be much of a serious romantic rival. Picturesque Bellingen doubles for the fictional town of Clarence. Cinematographer Martin McGrath refreshingly opts for a more realistic lighting scheme than the usual golden glow of romantic comedies.

Danny’s lack of selfish ambition and apparent willingness to drift where life takes him proves inspiring to people in Sydney and Clarence alike. And it may just leave you feeling a little lighter as you exit the cinema than when you came in.

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originally posted: 05/16/03 08:04:49
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For more in the Australian series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/27/09 Dan I stumbled across this and could not keep from digging it. Great B movie 5 stars
3/23/09 Ken Taylor I love this movie. It is a delightful fantasy. Bellington as a backdrop is wonderful. 5 stars
9/22/07 Matt not bad 3 stars
7/04/07 Evan Yes, predictable; but the msg is a good one, the characters enguaging and it made me smile. 4 stars
11/18/06 bird so shines a beautiful movie in a weary world 5 stars
6/07/06 kevin its shit, waste of money and time 1 stars
5/28/06 Josaphene liana I live in the town it was shot in so exciting at the time i was actuallu an extra and so wa 5 stars
10/05/05 Mal Good fun! 5 stars
6/01/05 leinink Charming. Interesting characters. Loved it. 5 stars
4/26/05 LeeLee Barrett It was really good. very creative 4 stars
1/17/05 pussyfoot appalling waste of money and time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
1/14/05 Lance How desperate was the bit where he makes the speech? Unspeakably awful shite. 1 stars
12/28/04 efrain a heartfelt story. watch it if you have time. 4 stars
8/26/04 Maureen McDevitt A real feel good movie!!! 5 stars
5/30/04 Larry It's based on a tru story--look up Lawn Chair Larry on Google. 5 stars
5/13/04 i faijer Lovely!! 5 stars
4/18/04 M please dont bother people!!!! 1 stars
2/03/04 Chris Good Laugh..makes you want to get out of the City 5 stars
1/26/04 Alex Hosking Like the breath of fresh air that lifted Danny up, up and away. Don't miss it. 4 stars
1/01/04 sandra hill video- loved it- especially Rhys Ifens 5 stars
12/18/03 micky d loved it 5 stars
10/24/03 Ben Light but great fun 4 stars
9/09/03 rachael it was fuking awsome 5 stars
9/09/03 Emma Light-hearted and Different. Very Enjoyable! I'm not usually a fan of Aussie flicks either. 5 stars
9/02/03 Julie It was a good laugh- although too predictable 4 stars
8/28/03 Danielle good, better than i thought, not EXCELLENT 4 stars
8/24/03 Caela Rooney Great film 5 stars
8/18/03 Graham Not the best movie of the year, but the best feel-good I've seen for a while. 5 stars
8/16/03 Robin Grant Thorourghly Uplifting 5 stars
8/15/03 Paul Dempsey What a surprise another shit Australian film. Am I a sucker for punishment? 1 stars
8/15/03 Heather I loved it. It turned my blue day - pink 5 stars
8/10/03 Richard Briliant Australian should be a hit world wide. 5 stars
8/10/03 Lesley White Better than I thought it would be 4 stars
8/05/03 Mick Lacks republican wannabes therefore good 4 stars
8/05/03 Joel Bofinger Great movie although a lot of scenes have been cut from it. It was filmed in my town!!!! 4 stars
8/05/03 Sam light humour for all 5 stars
8/04/03 Greg Haye An insult to the intelligence - totally unfunny with holes you could drive a truck through 2 stars
8/02/03 Zak Really great movie! 5 stars
8/01/03 Double G CHAIR, WHY NOT ABOUT DESK 1 stars
7/25/03 Grant Burgess a great lighthearted comedy 5 stars
7/13/03 Patrick Ripsnorter Awesome, funny, cool 5 stars
7/12/03 Lemmy Pee-yew, what a stinkeroo! 1 stars
7/12/03 Anita Feel good movie l'd see more than once 4 stars
7/09/03 glen Good laugh for all 5 stars
7/08/03 pip hilarious, timeless romance 5 stars
7/04/03 Toby Very Funny, Feel good movie. 5 stars
7/03/03 Liz I was an extra too - definately a fun movie to see 5 stars
5/23/03 John movie outstanding 5 stars
5/23/03 Andrew Chambers i was an extra in the movie!its going to be big!!! 5 stars
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  11-Aug-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 21-Dec-2004


  31-Jul-2003 (PG)

Directed by
  Jeff Balsmeyer

Written by
  Jeff Balsmeyer

  Rhys Ifans
  Miranda Otto
  Justine Clarke
  Rhys Muldoon
  Andrew Crabbe
  Angus King

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