Introducing the Dwights Cherie Nowlan

Introducing the Dwights Cherie Nowlan
Castrating mothers and life-giving lovers are the stuff of cliché legend, and Introducing the Dwights offers no new variations on these themes beyond one standout performance it doesn’t deserve. Tim (Khan Chittenden) is a virginal 20-year-old Australian who lives with his comedienne mother Jean (Brenda Blethyn). Jean’s act is largely based on the sexual humiliation of men and her vengeful feelings towards her ex-husband, so it’s no surprise that she demands total dominion over Tim and his mentally challenged brother Mark (Richard Wilson). Unfortunately for mom, Tim meets Jill (Emma Booth), a suspiciously angelic girl who falls in love with our man despite his inability to project charisma. A power struggle of supposedly hilarious and heart-warming proportions ensues. So, it’s male nightmare versus male fantasy: Jean’s character is a possessive gorgon with no redeeming features and Jill is a goddess of sex whose main function is to fulfil the fantasies Tim can’t initiate himself. Never mind that his mother has some legitimate beefs with the husband who won’t shoulder his part of the parental burden, the "flight from mummy” plot is older than time and can only go one way. The cast is largely quite good but Blethyn knocks it out of the park as the British transplant wishing her life had gone another way. She’s a great actress in a useless role, lending dimension and nuance to what another performer would have turned into a cardboard monster. But there’s no getting around the implicit sexism of the role and the storyline, made all the more outrageous by the "sensitive” tone the movie adopts. Misogynist saps will laugh and cry. All others should steer well clear. (Warner)