Life is good for ad man Ruben Guthrie - he leads a party boy lifestyle, has a model fiancée and lives in a house on the water. He's at the top of his game, until some drunken skylarking lands Ruben at the bottom of his infinity pool, lucky to be alive. His mum hits the panic button, and then his fiancée leaves him, but not before issuing him one final challenge: If Ruben can do one year without a drink, she'll give him another chance. Ruben Guthrie is the story of one man not only battling the bottle, but the city that won't let him put it down. Madman.
With its alcohol saturated opening scene and a shriek of 'Let's get smashed', Brendan Cowell's debut feature begins, amid bottles galore, glasses, bikini-clad girls, laughter and rambunctious excess. Based on Cowell's stage play, the film is as high spirited as the subject matter, delving into the social pressures surrounding the drinking culture and its effects on life, love and family. Grounded by an Australian sensibility, there's an appealing energy about the film that taps into home truths with humour and satire. The fact that leading man Patrick Brammall physically resembles Cowell is a curious bonus, and Brammall is terrific as the out of control advertising executive who loses everything before embarking on a journey of discovery to reclaim his life. Louise Keller, urbancinefile
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