A Few Best Men

FFA 5 Reasons: A Few Best Men

FilmFest Australia has arrived! We’ve given an overview of this year’s festival and already taken a closer look at opening film Not Suitable for Children, so here’s our 5 Reasons to stick around for its opening night companion, bawdy Brits-down-under wedding comedy, A Few Best Men

Production still from A Few Best Men

1) Director Stephan Elliott

Best known as writer-director of the global phenomenon that was The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Elliott followed it up with 1997 outsider comedy Welcome to Woop Woop. After a decade or so plying his trade overseas, Elliott returned home to make A Few Best Men. Teaming up with British comedy writer Dean Craig (Death at a Funeral), the pair mine their respective national identities for plenty of subtle (and not so subtle) gags about all the things that make Australia and Britain ‘same same but different’.

A Few Best Men opens with David (Xavier Samuel – an Aussie playing a Brit, naturally) falling head over heels for an Aussie girl Mia (Laura Brent) in a Pacific island paradise. Returning to a very soggy London, David tells his three best mates about their impending wedding and the quartet fly out to the wide brown land where they embark on an evening of farcical debauchery that threatens to ruin David and Mia’s big day.

2) ON-J, OMG!

Arriving at Mia’s family home the boys meet matriarch Barbara – played by Olivia Newton-John – prim and proper wife to Mia’s father (Jonathan Biggins), a prominent conservative politician. But if you thought ON-J’s transformation from innocent girl-next-door to chain-smoking leather-clad widgie in Grease was big, just wait ’til you get a load of this! She might have covered the scenery in bite marks, but ON-J seems to delight in hamming it up as she breaks free of a life time of repression and lets her inhibitions loose in a whirlwind of illicit substances and innuendo! As I said, ON-J OMG!!

Production still from A Few Best Men

3) Rebel Yell!

It’s official, Aussie comedienne Rebel Wilson is the most interesting woman in Hollywood! She might only have a supporting role in A Few Best Men, playing the unaffected lesbian (or not?) sister of Mia, but she threatens to steal the entire film, just as she did with her breakout role as Matt Lucas’ weird sister/girlfriend in Bridesmaids.

After plying her trade for years in Aussie TV comedies Pizza, The Wedge and Bogan Pride, that role in Bridesmaids brought her a whole new world of fans and the attentions of Hollywood. As a result, the next year or so is gonna be huuuuuuge for Wilson, returning to wedding comedy territory as the bride to a trio of bitchy bridesmaids (Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and fellow Aussie Isla Fisher) in Bachelorette and taking on the all-singing, all-dancing role of Fat Amy in post-Glee music comedy, Pitch Perfect.

4) Ewe wouldn’t believe the sheep jokes…Meet Ramsay: still from A Few Best Men

Meet Ramsay, Senator Ramme’s (geddit!) woolly political mascot! And prepare yourself for more than a bale full of sheep jokes! In fact, if Rebel Wilson fails in her quest to steal the picture, it’s only because Ramsay beats her to it! Ever wanted to see a sheep in bra and panties? Me either, but you’d be surprised just how funny it can be!

5) Last chance to see!

This film disappeared from UK cinema screens pretty soon after it was released a few weeks back, and FilmFest Australia are giving you a chance to catch two films you might have missed at the cinema this year (the other being The Hunter). And A Few Best Men is definitely a film best seen with a big audience that are up for a laugh, so don’t wait for the DVD – check it out on the big screen at FFA!

A Few Best Men is the late film on the opening night of FilmFest Australia 2012,
playing at 9:15pm on Friday September 14 at the Clapham Picturehouse.
Tickets are available via the FilmFest Australia website.
For more details, check out our festival overview.

Introducing… FilmFest Australia

FilmFest Australia 2012

More astute UK-based fans of Australian cinema may have noticed that March came and went this year with a notable absence on the London film calendar. Over seventeen glorious years, the Barbican’s annual London Australian Film Festival had existed to satisfy our cinematic appetites for all things Aussie.

Sadly, however, the 2011 LAFF was the Barbican’s last, threatening to leave us all high and dry. But fear ye not, UK-based Aussie film fans because the wonderful FilmFest Australia is rising, phoenix-like to take LAFF’s place in 2012 and beyond. Newly independent, but still programmed and coordinated by the core team behind LAFF, FilmFest Australia promises to continue that festival’s dedication to bringing an array of antipodean cinema treats to UK audiences.

Later this month, FilmFest Australia will be inaugurated with a taster festival at two Picturehouse venues in London, kicking off at the Clapham Picturehouse before skipping across town the following weekend to its freshly minted Hackney cousin. In 2013, the festival hopes to expand to LAFF proportions, with a full programme of features, documentaries and shorts showcasing the latest and greatest Aussie films. But this initial 2012 edition is no slouching affair, with one world premiere slotting alongside a host of UK debuts, with every screening preceded by a specially selected short from the team at Flickerfest, Australia’s premier short film festival.

Not Suitable for Children - Australian posterThe FFA 2012 festivites get underway on Friday September 14 at Clapham Picturehouse with the UK premiere of Peter Templeman’s Michael Lucas-scripted testicular cancer comedy Not Suitable for Children starring Ryan Kwanten and Sarah Snook, followed by a festival screening of a film currently on UK general release, Stephan ‘Priscilla‘ Elliott’s rawkus Blue Mountains wedding farce, A Few Best Men. On the Saturday, the south-west London venue plays host to another UK prem – legendary director Fred Schepisi’s Patrick White adaptation, The Eye of the Storm, starring Charlotte Rampling and festival patron Geoffrey Rush – and the first ever public screening (and thus world premiere!) of Mark Lamprell’s Goddess, a kitsch’n sink musical comedy starring Laura Michelle Kelly, Magda Szubanski and Ronan Keating! The Clapham leg of the fest concludes on Sunday September 16 with Sophie Hyde and Bryan Mason’s moving dance doco Life In Movement and Ivan Sen’s indigenous gangster tale, Toomelah.

The following weekend sees FilmFest Australia move to the Hackney Picturehouse, beginning on Friday September 21 with encore screenings of Not Suitable for Children and Toomelah, whilst Saturday brings two more UK premieres, the latest feature from the team behind much-loved classics The Castle and The Dish, Any Questions for Ben?, and Craig Lahiff’s twisting outback noir Swerve, featuring rising stars Jason Clarke and Emma Booth. The inaugural festival draws to a close on Sunday September 23 with a repeat showing of The Eye of the Storm and an encore cinema performance of Daniel Nettheim’s recently released feature debut, The Hunter, starring Willem Defoe and Frances O’Connor, and adapted from a novel by Julia Leigh (Sleeping Beauty).

If those descriptions aren’t enough to whet your appetite, stay tuned to The Far Paradise in the coming week as we present our top five reasons to see each film at this years festival. The ‘5 Reasons’ coverage kicks off with opening night films Not Suitable for Children and A Few Best Men.

Don’t forget to visit the FFA website for the latest news and updates, sign up to their email list for discounted tickets, ‘like’ them on Facebook, ‘follow’ them on Twitter, or watch the spiffing trailer for FilmFest Australia 2012 right here: