Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We're Here To Help

While not exactly a Love Actually or even a Finding Nemo, We're Here to Help is definitely a feel-good movie and it's nice to know New Zealand can make them. It does have black undertones (you couldn't call it a New Zealand movie without them!) but it's good-humoured and funny and the little guy wins in the end. The style is almost documentary and the humour is deadpan, and the story unfolding creates its own understated drama. The plot is uninspiring on paper (man battles tax department) but you shouldn't let this fool you or keep you away.

There's a lot to enjoy about this film. The credits are done amusingly in the style of an IRD form and there's the soundtrack which features Dave Dobbyn. There's 1990's furniture and office decor to admire and it was good to see Erik Thomson (who plays Dave, the film's main character) working on this side of the Tasman for a change. All the IRD employees are great to watch, with actors Jason Hoyte and John Leigh doing a particularly fine job at being bastards in smarmy self-righteous and smug style. Jason Hoyte gave me much pleasure being smarmy in Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby, so I'm unsurprised at him being good at it. John Leigh being smarmy was a novelty - a bit of a change from being Sparky the mad on Outrageous Fortune, but just as much fun.

Here you see Dave (Erik Thomsen) on the right berating Steve (Jason Hoyte) in their first encounter- an action which he came to regret. And you'll regret not going to this film, so stimulate the economy and the film industry and go.

Anne's rating 4/5. Ian's rating 4/5

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