YOU AND YOUR STUPID MATE

Caitlin Hawkins      30409453
Australian Cinema

 

PART I

 

DIRECTOR:                         Marc Gracie
WRITERS:                                       Dave O’Neil
                                                            Mark O’Toole
PRODUCERS:                                 Marc Gracie
                                                            David Redman
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:        Posie Graeme-Evans
                                                            Jennifer Hughes
                                                            Bryce Menzies
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS:         Dave O’Neil
                                                            Mark O’Toole
CINEMATOGRAPHER:                Justin Brickle
EDITOR:                                           Michael Collins
COMPOSER:                                    Craig Bryant
SOUND DESIGNERS:                    Emma Bortignon
                                                            Keith Thomas

 

CAST            

Nathan Phillips                        -                       Phillip
Angus Sampson                      -                       Jeffery
Rachel Hunter             -                       Karen
William McInnes                     -                       Peter Rossier (as Rock Hampton)
Madeleine West                       -                       Emma
Tayler Kane                             -                       Evo
Akmal Saleh                -                       The Third AD
Simon Gowling                       -                       Todd
Natalie Garonzie                      -                       Brie
Samir Malik                            -                       Alf
Vic Plume                               -                       Studmuffin
Nathan Bocskay                      -                       Stuart
Charmaine Gorman     -                       AD at Logies
Dave O’Neil                            -                       Akela
Kate Gorman               -                       Brown Owl

GENRE:                                Comedy

FILMING LOCATION:      Australia

RUNNING TIME:               86 minutes

RELEASE DATES: 5th May 2005 (Australia)
                                                June 2005 ( New Zealand)
                                                14th December 2005 (Hungary TV Premiere)
                                                7th September 2005 for DVD Rental

PRODUCTION COMPANIES:
                       
                        Maquarie Nine Film and Television Fund
                        Australian Film Finance Corporation
                        Film Victoria
                        Mondayitis Productions

DISTRIBUTORS:                Fallms Filmes (2005) (Brazil) (video)
                                                Fida Film (2005) (Turkey) (all media)
                                                Hoyts Distribution (2004) (Australia)(theatrical)
                                                ITV (2005) (Russia) (all media)
                                    Lightning Entertainment (2005) (world wide)                                                 (all media) (sales)
                                    Lime Lights (2005) (Netherlands) (video)
                                    Prooptiki (2005) (Greece) (all media)
                                    Prooptiki (2005) (Romania) (all media)
                                    Prooptiki (2005) (Yugoslavia) (all media)                 

 

OTHER COMPANIES:       Cameraquip Australia
                                                Showtech Australia

FILMS ONLINE PRESENCE:
                                                It was actually surprisingly hard to find a lot of information on the internet about this film.  Apart from information found on the International Movie Data Base, which provided a lot of information, it was difficult to find many legitimate sires with legitimate information.  I was unable to obtain any information about the box office or budget for the film or any interviews with any cast or crew of the film. 

Also in regards to information in books, it was also difficult to find information as the film is quite recent and in the books regarding Australian Cinema that I could obtain, they were not current enough to include any information either that or they chose not to talk about it.

 

 

PART II

 

‘You and Your Stupid Mate’ was directed by Marc Gracie in 2004 and is a very Auatralian film in regards to most of the content, the actors and locations and sdettings for the film.  At the time of the release of the film, there were many reviews present that put the film down, and since then there seems to be a trend of bad reviews.  The Diretcor, Marc Gracie,  has worked on other projects either side of this film, as have the actors, and they will  be discussed further.  The film is presented in the Comedy genre, using over the top Australianess as a comedic convention.  Overall I believe the film was well don and qquite humorous but it would be safe to say that I am only one of a few.

The film follows the story of two young men, Phillip (Nathan Phillips) and Jeffery (Angus Sampson), who live in a caravan park neither of them having a proper job and just living off the dole.  Both are obsessed with an Australian soapie, “Sons and Surf”, which is aimed too be a rip off of real Australian soapies such as ‘Neighbours’ and ‘Home and Away’, as Jeffery is even the creator of the unooficial ‘Suns and Surf’ fan club web site.  Their lives go on a downwards spiral as they find out they are going to have to commence working for the dole, their favourite soapie is being axed, and a freeway is going to be built through the caravan park they live in.  The plot then follows the two young men on their journey as they start working for the dole, but quickly are put from one job to the next because they are so hopeless.  When they start working at a cemetery picking up rubbish, they come across a filming location where they find out ‘Sons and Surf’ is being filmed.  They then  find out more information about filming locations and up coming events, where they then discover their favourite character, Emma (Madeleine West), will be killed ooff at the end of the show, and ofcourse Jeffery and Phillip wont let this happen.  So throughout the last part of the movie their mission is to save Emma, and in this process they end up on the stage at the Logies, then in jail, and even end up  losing ach others friendship.  By the end of the film, Jeffery and Phillip have reconciled there differwences and workj together to svae Emma from drowning.  They also end up saving there home and no longer have to work for the dole.

 

Personally I enjoyed ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’, and I think that was mainly due to the performance of Angus Sampson as Jeffery.  A lot of the scripting was humorous, yet it was also quite dry at times.  It is definitely evident that the plot is lacking in any main sort of structure or main events.  It is almost as if there are too many things trying to be accomplished at once, though I think all of this extra information is given to really help the presentation of the chararcters.  For example, to understand why Jeffery and Phillip live in a caravan, we have to know that neither of them have a job, and to make their lives a little worse they find out they have to start working for the dole, doing jobs such as scraping dead animals off the road.  Also the absolute stupidity of Jeffery and Phillip is being used as a comedic convetion which works well in linking all of the main plot and storyline evets.  This also displays, I suppose, the sort of humour that is being used to carry the film.  I think that is why I enjoyed it, because the humour was stupid, and very in your face and obvious, which is what I like but obviously what many others do not.
            The mateship between Jeffery and Phillip is very close, and that is something successful about the film.  We are able to believe their friendship and know that they have been best friends for the majority of their lives.  An aspect that may not come across to some viewers of the film could actually be the high amount of Australian related content, that would make no sense at all to foreign viewers, with comments made about things such as Centrelnk and the Logies.   It is obvious that the film is silly and  ridiculous, but I believe that is the way the Director wanted to present it, creting a film in the same sort of style as ‘Dumb and Dumber’ where the main focus is on the pure stupidity of the characters, and the results of their stupidity.

           
            As I mentioned earlier, I quite enjoyed the film, though it has become evident in my research on the net that most of the reviews for ‘You and Your Supid Mate’ were not so accepting of the comedy used in the film.  A review of the film was shown on the ABC program ‘At the Movies’, and reviewer David Stratton believes that this is the lowest of all Australian Cinema and states;
           
“Even by the standards of bad Australian comedies, YOU AND YOUR STUPID MATE is a real stinker. The humour is puerile, the level of ambition on display is close to zero. On top of that, it doesn't even look good; the images are drab and uninteresting.
It comes alive briefly, very briefly, when its unappealing heroes, who are reluctantly forced to work for the dole, are assigned to clean up road kill, with predictable results.
Marc Gracie takes the responsibility for directing this mess, and I can only hope it marks the lowest point in Australian cinema, from which things can only improve.” (http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s1364958.htm,cited 24/04/07).
David Stratton continued to give ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’ a rating of zero stars as he obviously feels the film really is that terrible.
When searching the internet for some for reviews on the film, it was difficult to find any official or legitimate ones, yet all seemed to follow the same drift as David Stratton.  Everyone seemsn to hate it, and all dislike the Australian attempt to create a ‘Dumb and Dumber’ type genre film.  These sorts of comments were available on these sites, http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=2006, and http://www.thecia.com.au/reviews/y/you-and-your-stupid-mate.  It was very difficult to actually find any good reviews on the film, while a lot of the members of the public had made comments back to David Stratton stating that the film was funny, and good quality.  These can be found on the same page as Strattons review.  With this evidence, I thnk that a lot of professional film reviewers and filmmakers themselves might feel that this is not a well structured or well produced film, but a lot of people in the public with find it just as a light piece of entertainment, that allows you to not have to think too hard.

 

            Director Marc Gracie, had a lot of work in film and television, mainly in the comedy genre prior to the filming of You and Your Stupid Mate, with ,most of them doing a lot better than this film did.  He has experience as a producer, actor, writer and director, and his only film since ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’ is ‘The Tumbler’ which is due to come out later this year (2007) where he has worked as producer and director.   Prior to ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’ though, he has been both director and producer for TV series’ ‘Jimoen’ in 1994, ‘Totally Full Frontal’ in 1998, ‘Sit Down, Shut Up’ in 2000, ‘Shock Jock’ in 2001 and ‘Jimoen’s Teatowel Tours: Northern Ireland’ in 2001 and for the film ‘Take Away’ in 2003.  He has done more work as Dierctor rthough, working on another TV series, ‘Full Frontal’ in 1993, and films ‘Bowling Hot and Cold’ (1989), ‘Jigsaw’ (1994), ‘A Kink In the Picasso’, (1990), ‘A Slow Night at the Kawaiti Café’ (1992) and ‘Crimetime’ (1993).  Looking at the work of Marc Gracie in the time prior to ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’ it is evident that he has done a lot of work involving comedy, and Australian Comedy in particular.  He has also done a lot of work with TV series’ and this is perhaps why the plot of ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’ may seem a little thin, as it could almost be better in a TV series type scenario.  Because I was unable to find any box office details on the film, it is hard to say how successful the ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’ was, but it would probably be safe to say that it didn’t do too well.  Also in his prior TV series’, a lot of the focus is on the characters, as is evident in ‘Full Frontal’ and this could reflect the focus on character in ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’, and perhaps the reliance to carry the film through the characters due to the lacking of a substantial storyline.  This could be a reason for the large gap in between his this film and his most recent one, ‘The Tumbler’ due out in 2007.  Also, ‘The Tumbler’ is a Thriller, so Gracie is making a move in genre also, staying away from comedy for once. 

 

            The lead actors in the film, both Angus Sampson and Nathan Phillips have worked on many films and TV series’ prior to ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’ as well as a range of projects after the film.  Angus Sampson had appereared in one or two episodes of TV series’ such as ‘Blue Heelers’ and ‘Stingers’ and was also heavily involved with the series ‘Greeks on the Roof’ (2003), starring in it and also being a writer for the program.  His comedy roles were at his peak at this point and since playing Jeffery in ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’, he has tended to opt for slioghtly more serious roles as he has performed in Australian films ‘Footy Ledgends’ (2006) and ‘Kokoda’ (2006).  Since then he has also worked on improvisational comedy TV series ‘Thank God You’re Here’.  He has just finished filming his most recent film which is currently in post production, ‘Where The Wild Things Are’. This film is based on a chldrens book, and it is an adventure, drama, feature film, which is quite diverse in comparison to Sampsons previous work.  In Australian magazine, Inside Film, the December/January 06/07 issue, Ghita Lobenstein explains a little more about Angus Sampson and his future;
            “One gets the feeling Angus Sampson is often a lot of fun.  He’s the cogenial ‘two-minute-noodle guy’, instantly likeable and readily equipped with an easy chuckle.  Sampson, 30, scored his first acting gig playing Dylan Lewis’ larrickin  sidekick The Enforcer on ABCs Recovery.  Numerous television stints, including The 10:30 Slot, Greeks on the Roof and Thank God You’re Here  have followed, along with theatre…More recently Sampson has aappeared in a spate of feature films – You and Your Stupid Mate, Kokoda, and Footy Legends – while developing scripts with his writing partner Leigh Whannel (Saw). One is a horror and the other is a kind of comedy. ‘Leigh escribes it as a cross between Whitnail and I and The Royal Tenenbaums wheras I describe it as something that makes me thnk and smile,’ he says.”
            So since ‘You and Your TStupid Mate’ it appears that Angus Sampson has really broadened his wings and is trying to aim for more than what the film provided.
            Nathan Phillips had worked on an actor previously also much as Angus Sampson had, scoring roles on TV series’ ‘Neighbours’, ‘Blue Heelers’, ‘Saddle Club’ and ‘Something in the Air’ as well as films ‘Australian Rules’ (2002), ‘One Perfect Day’ (2004), ‘Under the Radar’ (2004) and ‘Wolf Creek’ (2005).  So he had had quite a diverse range of roles before taking on Phillip in ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’.  After playing Phillip he seems to have taken on some more international roles in films such as ‘Snakes on a Plane’ (2006), ‘West’ (2007) and ‘Redline’ (2007).
So it seems he has also moved away from the over characterized Australian characters, and is moving more towards better things.

            It is evident that ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’ is supposed to be classified in the comedy genre, though it is difficult to decide what sort of cemedy it should be classed as.  As stated in Garry Gillards book, ‘Ten Types of Australian Cinema’,
            “Perhaps there are two basic kinds of film comedy: comedian comedy and situation comedy.  The first is arguably “purer”, and relies on gags and sketches; the second has more of a coherent narrative, and relies on the development of character or awareness of social incongruities or contradictions.  Among the second group, writers have identified certain froms of narrative comedy for individual treatment, including those mentioned above, and also “screwball” comedy, sex comedy, domestic comedy, parody and satire,” (pp 87, 2007)                   
            I would say that ‘You and Your Stupid AMte’ would be classed more as a situation comedy, although it does rely somewhat on the comedian.  The comedy in this film does really focus on the actors and their portrayal on the characters, and also the scripting of the characters.  In the situation of this film there are a lot of events that occur that involve Jeffery and Phillip that are quite comical for example, when there is a helicopter above their caravan, filming down on them, Jeffery turns on the hose and sprays it towards the helicopter, but ofcourse it sprays straight back down on him.  Therefore this situation ends up seeming quite comedic.  There are situations hough when it does rely heavily on the comedian. An example of this is when Jeffery and Phillip come across the character played by Akmal Salek.  All of the comedy here is in the script and all about what the characters are saying.  Another way that the comedy is created in this film is by over exaggerating the sterotpes of a typical Australian bloke on the dole.

 

           
When focusing on how this film is Asutralian and how it fits into the way of being a part of Australian Cinema, it is evident that through the use of location, script and actors, it is very much an Australian film.  Through the use of the locations such as the beach, the caravan prk and the deserted highway, people are able to get a sense that it has a very Australian feel about it.  Also with things like the Logies (the Australian Television Awards) a scouts play, The Gang Play, about Ned Kelly and the mention of Centrelink, it definitely has an Autralian focus. This being the case, I think it would be very difficult for someone foreign to understand certain parts of te film, and even the humour of ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’.

            ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’ is seen by many as an unsuccessful film, in its style, genre and scripting.  This being said, I found the film entertaining and I understood and enjoyed the humour, as I believe a lot of other people also would.  The film is successful in its Australianness  although it is probably portraying Australians in a way that may offend some people.  Director Macr Graciue, and actors Angus Sampson and Nathan Phillips have all moved forward in their works and seem to be broadening theior horizons, but teir work on ‘You and Your Stupid Mate’ was a jo well done in my opinion.

 

REFERENCES

You and Your Stupid Mate (DVD) 2005, Victoria, Film Victoria.

Gillard, G. 2007, Ten Types of Australian Cinema, Murdoch Universaity, Perth.

Box Office Information 2005 (You and Your Stupid Mate not included) –
http://www.afc.gov.au/downloads/pubs/boxoffice%20backgrounder.pdf
(accessed 20/04/07)

Film Information
http://www.imbd.com.title/tt0375222/ (accessed 18/04/07)
http://www.imbd.com.title/tt0375222/companycredits (accessed 18/04/07)
http://www.imbd.com.title/tt0375222/fullcredits (accessed 18/04/07)
http://www.imbd.com.title/tt0375222/officialcites (acessed 18/04/07)
http://www.imbd.com.title/tt0375222/business (accessed 18/04/07)
http://www.hollywood.com/movie/You_and_Your_Stupid_Mate/1742208 (accessed 18/04/07)

Marc Gracie Information –
 http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0333485/  (accessed 23/04/07)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0846111/ (accessed 20/04/07)

Nathan Phillips
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0680667/ (accessed 26/04/07)

Press Infromation-
http://www.if.com.au/tools/find.taf?fn=detail&id=6565 (accessed 23/04/07)

 

Reviews
http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s1364958.htm  (accessed 23/04/07)
http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=2006 (accessed 23/04/07) http://www.thecia.com.au/reviews/y/you-and-your-stupid-mate (accessed 24/0407)
http://www.girl.com.au/you-and-your-stupid-mate.htm (accessed 23/04/07)

Angus Sampson
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0760151/ (accessed 26/04/07)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386117/ (accessed 26/04/07)
Loebenstein, G. 2007, ‘Wild thing’, Inside Film, December/January, pp 23-24.