Dave's Rating:


Not funny enough to make you laugh …

Who's in It: Brenda Blethyn, Khan Chittenden, Richard Wilson, Russell Dykstra, Emma Booth

The Basics: A shy, apron-strings-strangled young man tries to assert his independence (in this movie, that simply means having a girlfriend), but his clingy, blousy, shrieking, failed-comedienne mother (Blethyn, especially weepy and irritating here, saying stuff like, "Give us a cuddle!") won't let him grow up. They fight, they bicker, they plead, they weep. Doesn't this sound exactly like the kind of family you'd enjoy spending 100 minutes with?

What's the Deal? Not funny enough to make you laugh, not heartwarming enough to make you cry, but definitely grating enough to make you want to get up and leave. I sat there thinking, OK, eventually, they're going to introduce me to some Dwights that I don't want to punch in the face. And that never happened.

Points for Blethyn's Stand-Up Comedy: It's the one thing that keeps this weirdly fascinating. Her character is this sort of bawdy Rusty Warren (or female Benny Hill) whose gags always seem to involve balloon animals that look like penises, and her punch lines are always, "Oooh, look! A willie!" And because the movie doesn't judge her for her old-school terrible comedy — in fact, there are cutaway shots of people, her son included, laughing like they mean it — it comes off as an endorsement. So it's full of strange moments like that.

Hey, Sundance People, Don't Be Confused by the Title and Make the Mistake of Seeing It Twice: There (and presumably in its native Australia, too) it was called Clubland.

If I Ran the Marketing Division: The tagline would read: "You'll be sorry you ever met them."


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