It’s not different, but it is unusual and it might only be fans that fight the first big-screen adventure of the Fountain Lakes ladies ‘noice’. Bruce Munro reports from the Australian premiere.
The red carpet was lined with frizzy perms as a stretched pink Hummer pulled up, a pure status symbol no less. As the door rose one could just make out the sheer beauty that was behind the tizzed up glitz and glamour. The Sydney premiere of Kath & Kimderella had taken over Fox(y) Studios. The foxy morons Kath (Jane Turner) and Kim (Gina Riley) were joined by poor Sharon (Magda Szubanski) and purveyor of fine meats Kel (Glenn Robbins) alongside a gaggle of clones.
The highly successful Aussie comedy series Kath & Kim originally grew out of a comedy sketch created by Turner and Riley in Big Girl’s Blouse. Four series and a television movie were to follow spanning from 2002-2007, where we witnessed this suburban family travel through domestic bliss and the key moments in their lives from connubials, childbirth, dieting and woine time to adultery and separations.
Five years on, high maintenance Kath and fashion victim Kim are in a rut with Kel having turned into a boring couch potato and Brett (Peter Rowsthorn) the balding wingnut. Kim dreams of a life fit for a Princess. Dreams come true sooner than expected with Kath winning the trip of a lifetime to the heel of Italy, Papilloma thanks to Terry Paterson Pharmacy. Hornbags Kath and Kim step straight into their Aussie day fairytale, with Sharon coming along for the ride as per usual. This fairytale has the storybook formula with a twist including a romance with a phantom prince, an evil queen, glass (or rather an Ugg) slipper and a fairy god mother thanks to the TAFE course in witchery. Supporting cast include Rob Sitch as King of Papilloma, Richard E. Grant and a cameo from Dame Edna along with other recognisable faces from the series.
The “umour” of the film is a mixture of familiar lines and phrases from the series along with new scenarios and relations brought about by the jet setting adventure. One of the main running comedic themes is based on Sharon who is so unlucky in love and her sexuality. Coincidently snooty homewares assistants Prude and Trude are off to Italy on a “business trip” at the same time as the plotted Royal Wedding. Their broad accents, along with cleverly scripted play on words, present a highly entertaining subplot to the story demonstrating how both Turner and Riley have firmly developed numerous characters throughout the series. The music that plays as soundtrack to their trip is full of “shocking” and classy tracks like Pussycat Dolls “Don’t Cha” and a memorable chamber performance of “My Humps” by Kim herself.
The script is written in such a way that it is not essential to be familiar with the series, covering the history and background of characters. Some of the essence of the series was lost due to how the film was shot for cinema. The magic of the show that comes from the candid nature of the scenes, comic timing of character tension and line delivery along with dramatic narration wasn’t as present here. Even without these elements Kath & Kimderella is still a hilariously fun experience.
Kath & Kimderella is released in Australia on 6 September 2012 from Roadshow Film.