Danny Deckchair Jeff Balsmeyer

Danny Deckchair Jeff Balsmeyer
Danny Morgan (Rhys Ifans) enjoys the simple things in life, such as taking camping supplies onto a plane in order to camp outside while on holiday. This idea seems a little absurd to his girlfriend Trudy (Justine Clarke), who genuinely loves Danny but is more interested in the public attention she receives by secretly dating a local newscaster than being roped into her current beau's oddball antics. Danny gets a sudden urge to see what would happen if he tied dozens of gigantic helium-filled balloons to a lawn chair from his backyard during a barbecue with his mates, possibly for the sake of escaping his current lifestyle, in which he simply doesn't fit in. The plan works too well and Danny is flown into orbit with no control over his flight, or any way of getting himself down, as he forgot to bring the pair of shears intended to snip away the balloons. Danny travels for hours, far away from his Sydney home, eventually landing in the backyard of a loner metre maid named Glenda (Miranda Otto) in the quiet town of Clarence. The movie tends to go a little downhill from there and follows the familiar tale of a stranger who shows up out of nowhere and falls in love with the locals, who in turn fall in love with him. Meanwhile, through the act of flying in his lawn chair and with his location a mystery, Danny becomes a media sensation, which means he'll soon be discovered and will need to make a choice between his old life and his new love with Glenda and the quaint town of Clarence. The performances by Ifans, Otto and Clarke are some of the aspects of Danny Deckchair that make it a tolerable and sometimes clever little film, but the predictable and often pointless plot turns after the actual deckchair voyage make it fall short. The DVD extras also manage to leave you feeling unsatisfied, with a potentially great "making of" featurette being nothing more than cast interviews woven within scenes from the film. Though it's always nice to hear dialogue from the cast of the film, this form of "behind the scenes" footage makes you feel as though you're watching a far-too-long trailer in which everyone involved rambles about how terrific it was to work on this project. Danny Deckchair, the film as well as the DVD, had great possibilities, but fails to deliver on both counts. Shame. Plus: commentary with director/writer Jeff Balsmeyer and Rhys Ifans. (Lions Gate)