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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 David Cornelius

"A pleasantly sweet good time."
3 stars

Miranda Otto has a natural beauty that can best be described as heart-melting. It is for her that I recommend seeing “Danny Deckchair.” But then, I’d recommend a movie of her just staring at the camera for an hour and a half, too, because, hey, it might not be great cinema, but it’d be ninety minutes well spent.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m also recommending “Danny” because of its sweetness. The film may be too predictable and overly familiar, but there’s a charm here that, like the underrated “The Majestic,” looks to emulate the feel of a Frank Capra movie. We even get the big Gary Cooper speech where Rhys Ifans talks about the power and greatness of the everyman. One almost expects Longfellow Deeds or Jefferson Smith to stop by for a visit.

The high concept conceit of the plot: Danny (Ifans) is a construction man whose life is fading into a rut; to break the monotony of a dying relationship with girlfriend Trudy (Justine Clarke), he’s always concocting some invention-fueled scheme (the “human slingshot,” for example). His latest notion is to tie a case of helium-filled ballons to his lawn chair, just to see what happens. What happens, indeed, is that he flies halfway across Australia, before crashing down into the small town of Clarence - and into the backyard of the lovely Glenda (Otto).

That it takes the movie a full one-third of its running time just to get us to the actual story doesn’t hurt it as much as you’d think. We enjoy spending our time with Danny and his friends, and although the plot bit about Trudy having an affair with the local TV sportscaster goes on a smidge too long, Ifans’ delightful meanderings pick up the slack.

Where the film finally kicks in is in the Clarence scenes. This is one of those small towns that only exists in the movies, where everyone is a good friend and even the rare bad guy is a good guy. It’s a bit of movie preposterousness, as is the idea that Danny opts to play up the chance at a new life, nobody realizing that he’s the guy who went missing and is plastered all over the national press. Because if anyone found him out too early, the movie’d be over, and we wouldn’t have the chance to see Danny find a new lust for life in this idyllic new town.

It doesn’t even matter that you can guess every plot turn before it happens. “Danny” is a story we’ve seen before, and writer/director Jeff Balsmeyer does little to deviate from the set course. But we don’t mind, because like Danny, we’re enjoying the discovery of this quaint town and its quaint residents. The charm of it all wins us over, and while we watch the tired old twists and turns, we smile anyway. We want to spend as much time as we can with Danny and Glenda, and sometimes, that warm feeling is all a movie needs to make it worth while.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 12/21/04 12:18:08
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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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