Movie review: Kath and Kimderella (PG)

HARD to believe I know, but it’s been five years since Kath and Kim lit up our tellies on a weekly basis. So no doubt fans of Jane Tuner and Gina Riley’s foxy ladies will be hanging out for more of the suburban dramas from Fountain Gate.

In Kath and Kimderalla, their first feature film, all is not right on the domestic front. 

Kim’s daughter Epony-Ray is all tantrums and tiaras; Kim has left Brett (Peter Rowsthorn). Again. And most unexpectedly, the flames of love are dying down for Kath and her beau, Kel Knight, purveyor of fine meats (Glenn Robbins).

When Kath wins a trip to Papilloma, “on the heel of Italy”, she leaves Kel on the couch in his snuggy and takes Kim, and Kim’s “second best friend” Sharon (Magda Szubanski) with her.

It’s hard not to draw a few comparisons with that other famous girl-pal flick, Sex in the City 2, where the party girls pack their best glad rags for a trip to Abu Dhabi. 

Likewise, the wardrobe in Kath and Kimderella takes a shining lead… sometimes admittedly for all the wrong reasons.

Think of Kim in her bejeweled leisure wear and Kath in her high-waisted sweet potato pedal pushers.

The scenes of the ladies at King Javier’s (Rob Sitch’s) fancy dress ball steal the show, with Kath in spangled gold and black as her “doppelganger” Babs. Barbara Streisand.

The ladies find themselves as the private guests of Papilloma’s king after arriving in the city and discovering their accommodation had fallen victim to an economic crisis. Basically, the city is broke, and so are its people.    

The trio can’t believe their luck when they’re invited to stay at the castle.

“Phoar,” says Kath on arrival. “Look at the height of the ceiling! I wouldn’t like to be paying the abducted heating bills.”

Audiences need to keep a keen ear out throughout the film – barely a line goes by that’s not funny. Gina Riley and Jane Turner wrote the script and it almost feels as though you’re privy to the private in-jokes of the two women.

All the favourite Kath and Kim catch phrases are trotted out, and as with the TV series, a handful of big-name cameos add to the fun. 

Think the likes of Dame Edna and Frank Woodley. 

Richard E Grant plays an unexpected role as Jarvier’s butler. 

King Jarvier thinks he’s found a meal ticket in the expensive-looking foreigners and sets about wooing Kath with Vesper rides around winding Italian cliff-side roads. 

All the while Kath sees great potential in the ailing city. She sees solar panels on ancient tiled rooftops, she sees recycling wheelie bins in cobbled laneways and carbon reduction plans for the palace.

Yes, the plot is preposterous. But it’s also noice, different, unusual. 

The film has copped some beatings from reviewers this week, but long-time fans of the foxy ladies will love it. 

Get in for your choc top.

The Verdict: 4 stars. 

- Kath and Kimderella is now showing at the Bendigo Cinemas. 

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