AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WAYS
Australia, 1987, 91 minutes, Colour.
Philip Quast, Gosia Dobrowolska, Allan Penny, Diana Davidson, Kelly Dingwall, John Howard.
Directed by Stephen Maclean.
Around the World in 80 Ways is a comedy that borrows its title from Jules Verne. However, it is a comedy about a man not leaving his home and thinking that he was travelling around the world - aided by his sons and their ingenuity and a sympathetic nurse.
However, the comedy is a hit-and-miss affair. It was co-written and directed by Steven Maclean, writer of Gillian Armstrong's Starstruck. It has the brash verve of that screenplay. But the comic touches don't always work well here - and for many audiences the film is rather tedious.
Philip Quast attempts a sympathetic hero role with a range of impersonations that also hit and miss. Gosia Dobrowelska (pictured, so effective in Silver City) is not a good comedienne for the nurse. However, Alan Penney as the old man makes the most of his character and Diana Davidson and Rob Steele do caricatures of their characters.
All in all, not the most successful Australian comedy.
1. The style of the film: Queensland, Sydney, kitsch and garish raucous, satiric touches?
2. The basic ideas: business and money, unemployment, old people's homes, nursing, trips around the world?
3. The central idea: Roley and his trip at home, the devices to make it plausible? Credible? Props, clothes, tapes, special effects, movement? The varying personalities impersonated?
4. The central idea of Roley coming alive, knowing what was going on, outwitting his children and his opponent?
5. The character of Roley; his past, age, illness, the old people's home, jealousy of Alex and Mavis, the trip and his reactions, his enjoying Hawaii and Las Vegas, the confession in Rome, his wandering the streets of Sydney and-knowing the truth, his ruining Alex's home, revenge, his coming alive for a vigorous ending?
6. Mavis: age, relationship with Alex, Roley too old, her sons, taking Roley to the home, going on the trip, the frantic scenes at the airport, the rivalry of the hostess, Hawaii and her missing out on the food, Alex going to sleep, Las Vegas and the Elvis impersonator, the drugs, going to Rome, the cheese factory, missing out on seeing the Pope, Alexis betrayal, the thwarted Tokyo visit, the interview in the newspaper, coming home, the end and her reconciliation?
7. Alex and his partnership, used cars, cad, his house, the trip, eating, the hostess, his complaint, the ruining of his house and the revelation of his baldness?
8. Wally and his banana kitsch tourism, need for money, his mother, the range of impersonations, the idea of the trip, the various types he represented, the confession, the Pope, the geisha, the camp and gay touches? The end?
9. Eddie as unemployed, stereo system, infatuated with Ophelia? helping out in various ways on the trip?
10. Ophelia and the nursing home, relationship with the doctor, her ideas, joining in, the merriment, the various parts she played, the happy ending?
11. The doctor and his greed, moralising, being punched at the end?
12. The old people, the drab home, their being liberated, joining in the dancing?
13. Mitch and her mother, the dog, her snooping, the parking tickets, the end and her vigorous song?
14. Hit-and-miss Australian comedy, satire? The validity of the targets? The quality of the style?