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Foreign Comedy - Australia - Danny Deckchair

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Danny Deckchair
Rhys Fans, Miranda Otto, Justine Clarke
Written and directed by Jeff Balsmeyer
Australia 2004
100 minutes

I got this comedy DVD in a pre-viewed bargain bin and did not expect much from Danny Deckchair. The cover suggests it is just another jackass type movie about a guy who decides to tie balloons to his lawn chair. In reality, Danny Deckchair is an original romantic comedy about a free spirit kind of guy who goes on the adventure of a life time and gets to reinvent himself in this Australian comedy.

Danny Morgan (Rhys Fans of The Shipping News and Vanity Fair) is a laborer living with real estate agent Trudy (Justine Clarke). Not all is well between Danny and Trudy. When Trudy cancels their vacation plans to spend time showing homes to a local TV celebrity, Danny goes a little stir crazy and, since he has a history of doing weird stuff, ties a whole bunch of balloons to his deck chair. This sends him airborne and lands him in a small little village far away from his hometown where he gets to reinvent himself and perhaps find real love.

However, there is much more to this comedy DVD than that. In many ways, Danny Deckchair is a movie about identity and people accepting what they are told about you. The people in Clarence, Danny's new home, willingly accept he is a professor and someone with interesting ideas. Danny also falls in love with Glenda, a parking cop, the townspeople, and their openness.

This comedy is also a comment on the nature of celebrity, the media, and identity. People have a set idea of who Danny the laborer and Glenda the spinster are when, in reality, they can be very different people. It is refreshing because your expectations as to where the movie is going to go are often not where writer director Jeff Balsmeyer (who worked as a storyboard artist on many movies before finally getting behind the camera) takes it.

Danny Deckchair is a very different, original, surprising comedy from Australia, a country known for offbeat movies. Though I found this in a bargain bin, this DVD would certainly be worth paying full price for.



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