Josh Bell


(2.5 stars)

Stars: Rhys Ifans, Miranda Otto, Justine Clarke

Director: Jeff Balsmeyer

Details: Opens Friday

The Australian trifle Danny Deckchair adds exactly one new element to its timeworn romantic comedy premise: The meet-cute between sad- sack construction worker Danny (Rhys Ifans) and uptight meter maid Glenda (Miranda Otto) is accomplished when Danny, weary of his money-grubbing girlfriend (Justine Clarke) and the drudgery of city life in Sydney, ties a bunch of helium balloons to his lawn chair and floats away to the small town of Clarence, where he crash lands in Glenda's back yard.

Other than that, the film is nothing more than the same rom-com clichés you've seen a thousand times, coupled with the kind of small-town values that only exist in movies. Ifans, known for offbeat parts in films like Notting Hill and Human Nature, acquits himself well as a romantic lead, and even almost pulls off an awful inspirational speech near the end. Otto, who played Eowyn, the only interesting female character in the Lord of the Rings movies, has plenty of charm, and the pair makes a nice couple.

Aside from Danny's amusing journey on his lawn chair, though, the film is predictable, sappy and not particularly funny.

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