Australian comedies often display a certain sense of humour that, to the unaccustomed eye, can come across as plain silliness. Most modern Hollywood and British (romantic) comedies try to be quite serious about their humour; filmmakers want you to appreciate their jokes as well as just laugh at them. So it usually takes me a few minutes to change gears whenever I watch an Australian comedy. At first, the lack of pretentiousness strikes me as somewhat immature. It’s only after the first few scenes that I start appreciating it for what it is: plain, honest, and easygoing.
Danny Deckchair is just like this. It starts off a bit silly, with eternal daydreamer Danny Morgan becoming so frustrated with his life and his girlfriend that he implements one of his hare-brained ideas: to see how many helium ballons it takes to lift him and his lawn chair into the sky. And he really does get carried away.
But once the opening act is over, the film gives way to a sweet love story, and a heart-warming tale about finding yourself and following your dreams. I had never really pictured Rhys Ifans as a romantic lead, but opposite Miranda Otto he really shines with an innocent, playful quality that is totally endearing. It’s definitely worth a look.