New Zealand romantic comedy, from the director of Second Hand Wedding, that tells the story of a regular bloke on a quest to find true love – all with the help of a native New Zealand shelduck. Stars Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords) and Sally Hawkins (Made in Dagenham).... More
The happy and predictable life of Doug (Darby) - a road working 'every-man' and massive fan of the legendary band Queen - falls to pieces when his long-term girlfriend suddenly dumps him. He's gutted. But when an injured Paradise Shelduck (Pierre) crash-lands on his roof, Doug is compelled to nurse the duck back to health. He meets Holly (Hawkins) - a sassy animal specialist - and so begins his journey on the rocky road to love...Hide
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BY Andreas Heinemann Flicks Writer
Local boy made good Rhys Darby scores his first feature film lead role in the latest kiwi rom-com, and he’s brought a host of ‘world famous in New Zealand’ actors with him. Those more accustomed to his zanier Flight of the Conchords persona may find his turn as an everyday battler jarring, though the more low key character accurately reflects a film that more successfully warms the heart than splits your sides.
There is the occasional laugh to be had, but unfortunately just as many of the one-liners and gags miss the mark. On the other hand, the love story between the lead characters is solid throughout, building well to the final bold romantic gesture that is the film’s climax. A lot of the credit for this should go to Sally Hawkins as Darby’s love interest. She’s probably the least familiar face to local audiences, but she’s great at convincingly expressing doubt and uncertainty over the relationship that keeps the story from becoming too sickly sweet. The Queen soundtrack is nice too.
Unfortunately, everything else about the film seems too sanitized to be truly memorable. This gives it a wider appeal, but at the same time you wish certain elements could’ve been pushed further and not played so safe. It’ll send you home happy enough; just don’t expect a laugh riot.
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